White Beans with Tomato and Cinnamon
I made these beans for Camille, and Mali’s last painting class. The cinnamon in them was much stronger than anticipated but made them even more moreish. Something about their warming, spice felt very wholesome, even when shovelling in more than my stomach is designed to handle. These could be served warm, but I prefer them at room temperature, and best the day after they’re made.
450 g dried Greek giant beans
1/2 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
2 red onions finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 bunch fresh dill chopped
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
2 quills cinnamon
Freshly ground pepper
Soak the beans overnight in water. Drain the next day. Place in a large pot with cold water, salt and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, until tender but firm, should take around 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 190°C.
In a large heavy-based saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat and cook the onions, until translucent, about 15 minutes. Then stir through garlic for around 30 seconds before adding your tomato paste. Fry off the tomato paste for a couple of minutes then add in the can of tomatoes and cinnamon, simmering the sauce until it has slightly reduced and come together - for around 15 minutes.
Remove beans from heat and drain, but reserve the water.
Place beans in a large baking tray with 6 tablespoons olive oil, sauce and a little of their water. Mix thoroughly. Bake the beans for around 45 minutes, or until the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened. Add more water throughout baking, if necessary, to keep the beans from burning or drying out. Once they are finished, stir through dill, vinegar and season with lemon, salt and pepper. Add more olive oil to serve if desired.