My Nana made this dish all the time and she called it something like Foi or Foy. I can’t find any record of any Italian beans and greens recipe by that name, so I’m calling it “Spicy Beans and Greens.” If anyone can tell me what this “Foy” refers to, I will be infinitely grateful!! Just leave me a note in the comments.
I love including this dish in otherwise heavy meals because the spicy bitterness is such a relief from all the rich carb-and-dairy overload. It’s also one of the easiest things in the world to make and takes no time and little attention and is, in my opinion, even better at room temp than it is hot.
So, here we go!
Spicy Beans and Greens RecipeCourse: SidesCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
The secret to this recipe is drying the spinach out as much as possible so you don’t have to cook it to death the evaporate the water. You want the greens to have some bite left in them when they’re done.
454 g Fresh spinach. You can substitute frozen spinach.
30 g Garlic
40 ml olive oil
5 g salt
Crushed red pepper or cayenne to taste
1 can cannelloni beans, rinsed and well drained
- Slice the garlic roughly into slivers. They have to be thick enough to withstand cooking and still hold their shape.
- Blanch spinach in boiling salted water for 20 seconds and douse in cold water. Drain and squeeze out as much excess water as possible. Spread out in a colander to dry further*
- Put olive oil and garlic in a frying pan and heat over low heat for 10 minutes. The goal is to infuse the oil with the garlic taste, not to brown the garlic
- When the garlic is translucent, but not browning, add the drained spinach and salt and raise the heat to medium
- As soon as the spinach is heated through and any liquid at the bottom of the pan has evaporated, add the beans and hot pepper and toss gently so as not to break up the beans
- Cook until beans are just hot.* Remove to serving dish
- Drizzle with good quality, extra virgin olive oil to finish. You can also spritz some lemon juice over it when serving.
- *If you’re substituting frozen spinach, you don’t have to blanch it. Just make sure it’s thoroughly thawed and you have squeezed out any excess moisture. It’s VERY IMPORTANT that the spinach is as dry as possible. Otherwise you’ll have to cook the hell out of it so it won’t be soggy and then it won’t have that nice nutty fresh taste.
- The beans are already cooked in the can. All you need to do is get them hot enough to eat. If you overcook them, they’ll break down and turn into bean mush. Still tasty, but texturally lacking.
That’s it! That’s all there is to it. I like a lot of heat in this dish personally, but that’s up to you, boo!