Batta bing batta bean!

We’re definitely at the end of our transition into Autumn here in Dublin.  The lightish winter coat has come out of the closet and I’m slowly but surely getting reacquainted with my scarf collection.  Which I’m very happy about, indeed.

Another thing I’m happy about is the wintery-esque weather gives one the excuse to indulge in comfort food.  Nom.

This cannellini bean bake is a good cross-over dish, as you have the late summer tomatoes paired with the warmer of a nice bake with a deliciously crispy topping.  It was inspired by this recipe but I’m trying to be a more instinctive cook so I sort of threw this one together. Also, I definitely ate something similar to this in Cornucopia one day!

What you need for a Cannellini Bake for 4 lucky peeps

About 1/4 of a fennel bulb, very finely sliced or even diced. Alternatively, you could use 1 tsp of fennel seeds.

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp of paprika

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

50g bread crumbs

50g finely grated parmesan cheese

(If you wanted to make this meaty, you could add some chunks of chorizo perhaps. Although, I’m not sure how well the chorizo would go with the fennel? Hmmm.  You could pop a few bits of chicken in maybe.   Little chunks of pancetta or bacon would probably work the best though.  But honestly, it’s lovely without meat.  The fennel becomes the main focus that way.  Which makes me very happy, as I love the fennel.)

Start off by frying your finely sliced fennel bulb * in a little oil for 5 minutes, until softened.  Now add your chopped garlic and paprika and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly so paprika is evenly spread.

Now add your tin of tomatoes, season generously and let simmer on medium to low heat for about 5 minutes.

*If you were going to use fennel seeds instead of fennel, I would add the seeds along with the tin of tomatoes and not before.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 200 C/180 C fan/gas mark 6.

In a bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and cheese together.

Once sauce has thickened, add your cannellini beans and allow to heat through, keeping on the heat for another 3 minutes or so.  Don’t over do it as the beans turn very quickly into mush.  That’s not what you want.

Pour the whole lot into a smallish baking dish.  Sprinkle over your breadcrumb and cheese mixture evenly over the top of your delicious bean mix.

Now bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until lovely and golden brown all over the top.

Serve with a nice fresh green salad.  I chose lettuce and finely grated courgette, using a dressing of salt, pepper, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Delish!

Categories: Dinner, Lunch


  1. I don’t care what you say that’s a tiny portion, I know I’d want more. It looks super-delish.

    • Thanks for making me feel better for eating half of the whole dish for lunch! I just couldn’t stop myself. Kept going back for another forkful every 10 minutes. Which meant in half an hour, it was almost all gone. Nom!