Fagioli all’uccelletto – Beans in Tomato Sauce

March 8, 2017 (Last Updated: September 12, 2019) by Emily

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Fagioli all'uccelletto (beans in tomato sauce) is a delicious Italian side dish made with cannellini beans, tomato, garlic, and sage.

Fagioli all’uccelletto (beans in tomato sauce) is a delicious Italian side dish made with cannellini beans, tomato, garlic, and sage. Incredibly simple and great with steak, chicken or sausages.

fagioli all'uccelletto beans in tomato sauce

Fagioli all’uccelletto is a typical Italian side dish from Florence.

‘Uccelletto’ means little bird although it’s not known where the name originated from it’s thought that the flavours of sage and tomato, usually paired with game meats is the reasoning behind it.

Contrary to its name there’s no little birds in this dish, it’s in fact completely vegetarian.

It’s hearty, so flavourful and healthy too.

Delicious cannellini beans are cooked in a beautiful, rich tomato sauce with sage and garlic and are fantastic paired with a chargrilled steak or chicken.

fagioli all'uccelletto beans in tomato sauce

Another traditional and equally as mouthwatering way to eat these delicious beans in tomato sauce is with Italian sausages cut up and cooked in the tomato sauce.

This is one of my favourite winter meals that can be whipped up in under half an hour.

But this is not just a winter side dish it’s perfect all year round especially alongside barbecued meats in the summer, delish!

fagioli all'uccelletto beans in tomato sauce

To make this simple side dish I bash two cloves of garlic and add them to a pan with a little olive oil and sage.

Let it fry for a one minute to release with beautiful flavours.

The passata (pureed tomatoes) is then added to the pan with a little seasoning and it’s let to simmer for a few minutes.

Finally, a little water is added along with the beans and it’s left to cook down slightly for a few minutes then it’s ready to serve.

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5 from 1 vote

Fagioli all’uccelletto - beans in tomato sauce

Fagioli all'uccelletto (beans in tomato sauce) is a delicious Italian side dish made with cannellini beans, tomato, garlic, and sage. Incredibly simple and great with steak, chicken or sausages.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 186kcal
Author Emily Kemp


  • ~1 lb (460g) canned cannellini beans (weight of beans only no liquid)
  • ~14.1 oz (400g) passata (pureed toamtoes)
  • ~2/3 cups (150ml) water
  • 6-7 sage leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper to season


  • Add the olive oil to a saucepan. Crush the garlic cloves with the back of a knife and add to the pan with the sage. Fry for one minute then add the passata.
  • Add a pinch of salt and pepper and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add the water and the beans and let it cook down for another 5 minutes.
  • Add more salt if needed and serve.


Please note this recipe was tested and developed using metric measurements all imperial measurements are an approximate.


Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 961mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 510IU | Vitamin C: 11.1mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 5.2mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
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1 Comment

  • Reply
    June 9, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I tried this and it was brilliant!5 stars

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