Greek Gigante Beans in Tomato Sauce

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound gigantes, large lima beans, or butter beans (beans must be soaked overnight)                        

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves peeled and minced

1 can (15 oz) chopped or diced tomatoes, including the juice

2 Tbsp tomato paste mixed with 1 cup of the water listed below

¼ tsp ground cloves

3-4 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves, divided

Salt and Pepper to taste

½ cup Flying Olive Single Varietal Extra Virgin mild-medium Olive Oil, Greek preferred, divided

1-2 cups water, divided

Directions:

Wash the beans. Place in cold water, covering about 2 inches above the beans. Cover and refrigerate overnight or longer.

Remove the beans from the refrigerator. Drain and rinse well, discarding any loose skins. Cover with water and place on the stove. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until tender. Make sure you boil them enough or the beans will be too hard to eat even after baking. Find the fine line between being tender but not mushy.

Preheat oven at 350 F.

In the meantime prepare the sauce: Sauté the onion in a bit of the Flying Olive EVOO listed above, on low heat until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the canned tomatoes and juice, the tomato paste in 1 cup of the water listed above water, cloves, 3 Tbsp parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and about ¼ cup olive oil. Let the sauce simmer until the sauce thickens, about 20-30 minutes.

Once the beans have boiled, drain them and put them back into the pot. Add the sauce and mix gently. Pour the mixture into a 9x 13” pan and spread out evenly. Pour the last ¼ cup of Flying Olive EVOO over the beans. Bake for about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir gently, and add boiling water as necessary to be sure they are not drying out. Cook another 45 minutes until beans are tender. Let them sit 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional parsley, if desired. Serve hot or cold with feta cheese and bread.

Submitted by Barb L.