Remembering Rome Over Bruschetta Ai Fagioli

Jake and I spent 17 days in Italy during the summer of 2008. It was really our “last hurrah” before deciding that we were ready to try to have a baby. (& good thing we did it, because I got pregnant RIGHT away!) We spent 3 days in Venice, 3 days in Florence, and 10 magnificent days in Rome. We could have easily doubled our time in both Venice and Florence, but Jake really wanted to see Rome, and I had never really done the tourist thing while there.

Although we love good food, I would not classify ourselves as “foodies”. We don’t travel armed with lists of the trendiest “must-eat” restaurants (with reservations already made before we leave the States), we refuse to spend exorbitant amounts of money on a meal when we would probably be much happier with a liter of house wine and a pizza on a lively piazza, and I almost hate to admit that we travel with a Rick Steves guidebook tucked into our bag. Through Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome, he has never steered us wrong. He is the one that directed us to L’Antica Birreria Peroni, which ended up being one of our favorite places! They have a huge restaurant, a huge menu, and lots of different types of Peroni beer on tap, so tell me…how can you go wrong with great beer and good food?

The dish that I have attempted to recreate is one that I ate on each of our three (?) trips to Peroni. It is a simple dish, but it made such an impression on me that I still think of it fondly almost three years after our time in Rome, and Jake and I will definitely be taking Gemma there when we return this summer so I can taste it again! So, dear readers, I give you…

Bruschetta ai fagioli

loosely adapted from Melissa d’Arabian


*1 can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)

*2tbsp olive oil

*3-4 cloves of garlic (minced or grated)

*splash of white wine

*3/4 cup vegetable broth

*salt and pepper to taste

To Make:

*Heat the olive oil on medium-high, add the garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes.

*Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine (or a splash of stock) and let boil for 2 minutes or so.

*Add the beans, salt & pepper, and the stock.

*Cook on a “lively” simmer for about 20 minutes.

*Serve in a bowl as a dip or on pieces of toasted, crusty bread that have been drizzled with olive oil.

Survey Says:

Ciao Roma!!! OMG…I really don’t know why I haven’t tried to do this before! The three of us gobbled it up fast! Gemma was whining for more even after it was long gone! I hope that you try it, enjoy it, and can catch a brief glimpse of our incredible time in Rome!


16 responses to this post.

  1. You’ve just made me simultaneously drool and look up plane tickets.


    But seriously – thanks for the recipe! 🙂


  2. Glad I could help!!! Think of the wineparties over there…:-)


  3. Oh yum! That sounds, and looks, so delish!

    My in-laws arrive on Wednesday for a week visit … I’ve got a few meals lined up, but otherwise still trying to plot out what I’ll be cooking for the next week. I think this is on my list … what do you think, maybe with a salad too?



  4. I think any salad would be good with this, but arugula with a little olive oil, fresh parmesan, and a wedge of lemon would be awesome…and very reminiscent of another of our fave meals in Italy!


  5. 17 days in Rome… sigh! That sounds like pure bliss. I’m not a fan of cannellini beans, but I love bruschetta!


  6. I think I should go to Rome now.


    • Yes…yes you should!! It’s an amazing place especially if you can manage to step back from the super-touristyness of it on occasion. Venice is exactly the same way!


  7. I was in Italy when I was 15, and I’d love to go back now. Such a cool place. And this looks delish! I wonder if my kid would eat it (he who has refused every single thing I offered for lunch today).


  8. Yum! I can’t eat garlic but the rest sounds heavenly.


  9. Mmmm! Funny, I am making something similar tonight. An eggplant gratin with cannellini beans and tomatoes, served with crusty bread.


  10. […] photos really make my recent efforts look pretty good!) , and who could forget the mind-blowing Bruschetta ai Fagioli which was perhaps even better than the Roman appetizer from which I gathered inspiration. […]


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