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Luppini beans

I have never worked with amount of anything on making these and
they always come out right. I usually prepare about 5 lbs of dried
luppini beans at one time. These are purchased at any good Italian
deli or import store.

Sort and clean the beans throwing out any that show signs of rot
or mold. Rinse well removing all the dirt. Cover with warm water
and let soak for 24 hours. You will probably have to add more soak
water. After soaking drain well and rinse. For every cup of soaked
beans you will need about 3 cups of water.

Place the soaked beans and the fresh water in a large non-aluminum
pot and bring to a medium boil. Cook at medium boil for at least
4 hours or until very tender. They will pop out of their skins.
But be forwarned, they are extremely bitter at this point. They
will need at least 1 1/2 week of curing in cold water to be edible.
My grandmother would drain the cooked beans and replace the water
with cold water. Then she would place the pan in an unused sink
(in the basement) and slightly tilt it against the side of the
sink. She would then turn on the cold water to a very slow stream
in run this stream into the pot. This stream of water was left
running for one week--night and day. At this point you can start
tasting the beans to see if the bitterness is gone. The water
would need to be changed at least once a day for one more week
before the curing process was finished. We would serve them drained,
but wet, and highly salted.

However, I have found that curing them in a thin brine speeds up
the curing process and is easier to do--and doesn't cost all that
water. After cooking the beans, I drain them and rinse them very
well and then cover them with water in the cooking pot. To 5 lbs
of cooked beans I add 1/2 cup pickling salt. Everyday--at least
once a day--for the next week and a half I drain the water and add
fresh cold water to cover the beans and a scant 1/2 cup of pickling
salt. When they are cured, I drain them once more add salt to the
water then place the brine and the beans in 1/2 gallon bottles,
Cover and put them in the refrigerator to keep. The water will
need changing about every third to fourth day--or the beans get
very scummy and soft--and you can add a little salt each time.

Luppini beans are very traditional at weddings for Italians,
Scicilians, and Portugese. My family is from Scicily and Italy.

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