Despite Tuscany’s aesthetic splendor, its cuisine is “farmland” basic. Don’t get me wrong, it is delicious but instead of elaborate creations, the typically robust cuisine relies on good, fresh, seasonal ingredients. Bread vegetables and roasted meats serve as the base of most traditional meals and beans feature in many recipes, so much so that Tuscans are often called mangiafagioli or bean eaters.
This recipe is a blend of typical Tuscan flavors with some of my favorite ingredients. Succulent chicken thighs in a creamy sun-dried tomato and parmesan sauce garnished with fresh basil.
The original recipe calls for Sorana beans, a rare variety only found in Sorana in southern Tuscany which I visited a few years ago. They are a small buttery bean with an incredibly thin skin and when cooked all you taste is the smooth creamy interior. In the US the closest you can get to that is a bean from a Sorana heirloom seed called “Marcella” beans available online at Rancho Gordo. Canned Cannellini work just fine for this recipe and you will have an irresistible meal prepped and cooked in 30 minutes. —Derek Farwagi
skinless boneless chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
cloves of garlic, minced
red pepper flakes
Finely chopped sun dried tomatoes. (Use the dry kind, not those preserved in oil that might get too soggy when cooked).