By cooking the beans both on the stove and in the oven, they develop a super-rich, tomatoey flavour. Baking them also crisps up the top layer, providing a great contrast with the mushiness underneath.






Skill level

Average: 4.5 (4 votes)


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, or 1 small handful fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 200 g (7 oz) cherry tomatoes, diced, or 4 ripe roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
  • 2 400 g (14 oz) tins cannellini beans (including soaking liquid)
  • 2 400 g (14 oz) tins good-quality tomatoes (I use cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 large handful fresh basil, chopped, plus extra to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Serves 6-8 as a side.

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F).
  2. Heat a frying pan with the olive oil and add the onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary and fresh tomatoes, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for a further couple of minutes.
  3. Add the beans (including their soaking liquid), tinned tomatoes and sugar. Reduce the heat and cook for about 10 minutes, until simmering.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and stir the basil through. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Bake for 40–60 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and browning on top, stirring once halfway through cooking. Serve sprinkled with extra basil.


Recipe and images from The Shared Table by Clare Scrine, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99