Cannellini beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are relatives of the kidney bean; in fact, they are sometimes called white kidney beans because they look like just that. They are also called fazolia beans and are popular in Italian cuisine. They are about a half inch long, kidney shaped, and have a tough skin. Their flavor is mildly nutty and their texture is smooth and creamy when cooked. This bean was originally cultivated in Argentina by Italian immigrants and later taken to Italy where they are now grown commercially.
Cannellini beans have a nutty flavor which is wonderful in pasta e fasolia, minestrone soup, hearty stews and the list goes on Try Cannellini Beans in a cold salad with marinated artichoke hearts, fresh basil and olive oil.
Rinse beans thoroughly. Place beans in pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat off and let beans soak for 1 hour. Drain. Add beans back to pot, cover again with 2 inches of fresh water and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, or until beans are tender. 1 cup dry yields 2-1/2 cups cooked.