The Caterer

Pisarei e fagioli, by Stefano Ispani

07 January 2010
Pisarei e fagioli, by Stefano Ispani

This seasonal recipe for pisarei e fagioli is provided by Stefano Ispani, owner of Ponti's Italian Kitchen, London.


  1. 4.2kg dried borlotti beans
  2. 500g butter
  3. 250g lard
  4. 1kg onions
  5. 1 whole head celery and leaves
  6. 1 bulb of garlic
  7. 1kg large carrots
  8. 1 bunch parsley, flat leaf
  9. 1.2kg minced beef
  10. 1 .5kg double concentrate of tomato
  11. 4.5 litres water
  12. Sea salt
  13. Bouillon, to season
  14. 2 bay leaves


Soak the beans overnight. Drain, rinse and put in a pan with plenty of cold water. Boil hard for 10 minutes then add garlic, celery and 10g salt per litre of water. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, then reserve.

Blitz the carrots and onions to a fine dice texture. Sweat them in a mixture of butter and lard. Add the meat and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. When it's cooked, add the tomato concentrate combined with the water.

Add the part-cooked beans to the main sauce and season to taste with bouillon. Also add salt to taste, plus bay leaves and simmer for 90 minutes to two hours on a low gas.

Cook the pisarei separately. To mix the dish, put the sauce into bowls, add a knob of butter and some Parmesan and add the pisarei.

Mix and add some water as it needs to be slightly wet and put Parmesan on top to garnish.

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