Spuntature E Fagioli (Spare Ribs with Beans)


Make your home smell like a Tuscan villa! This one-dish meal is savoury and simmered in a rich tomato sauce. I adapted the recipe from Skip Lombardi, a Tuscany region food blogger at tuscanrecipes.com.  I served the spare ribs and beans over rigatoni pasta along with a side of crispy bread.

Spuntature E Fagioli (Spare Ribs with Beans)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds pork spare ribs
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 28 oz. box, Italian plum tomatoes, diced (I use Pomi)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, washed and roughly chopped
  • 6 tablespoons flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 cup dried Cannellini beans (SOAK OVERNIGHT THE DAY BEFORE)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • flat-leaf italian parsley for garnish
  1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, then add enough olive oil to fill the bottom. Heat until oil is shimmering. Cut ribs to separate and add them to the pan. Cook until they’ve browned well on both sides for about 6 minutes per side. Move ribs to a platter.
  2. Drain the fat from the pan, then add the garlic. do not let garlic burn. Turn the heat to high, then add the wine. Cook for two minutes, and add the tomato paste and the tomatoes, stirring as they go in.
  3. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for two hours, stirring occasionally. It may be necessary to add water from time to time to maintain consistency. Once the ribs are simmering, prepare the beans.
  4. Place the onion, carrot, celery, parsley, and garlic in a food processor and pulse about 10 times.
  5. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil. Add the chopped vegetables to the oil, lower the heat slightly, and cook until softened. Add the beans and enough water to cover by about one inch. Add the rosemary and sage, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cook beans for one to one and a half hours, until tender. Drain in a colander and reserve.
  6. Add the beans to the spare ribs and cook at a low simmer for about 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. To serve, place one spare rib i each of four plates, then spoon some beans to the side, then spoon about a quarter cup of sauce over the beans. Garnish with Italian parsley. Buon appetito!
To save time, you can also used canned beans if necessary.

vino and ribs

I paired this truly authentic Tuscan meal with a spicy 2010 Paso Robles, California, Sangiovese from winemaker Tom Coene of Shade Tree Winery. Tom says, “the word Sangiovese is derived from the Latin, sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jove.” Pour just one drop into a glass to see why. Dramatically Italian. Inky and beautiful. Cin-cin!

Movie Night suggestion: Under the Tuscan Sun. “Life offers you a thousand chances…all you have to do, is take one.” Chubby Spoon follower Susan Cabral says Under the Tuscan Sun, directed by Audrey Wells, is her favourite film. “Ever since I saw that movie, I’ve wanted to go to Tuscany.” Well, Susan, until you get that chance to go to Tuscany, you can at least taste it. Cheers!

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