Marcella beans are grown in California from Italian Sorana seedstock. Sorana is a cannellini bean with incredibly thin skin and when cooked properly, an indulgent creamy texture. You can use them in your kitchen as you would any small white, European-style bean, but with an ingredient like this, simple is often better. Good crusty bread with some Marcella beans smashed on top, drizzled with your very best extra virgin olive oil and maybe a dusting of freshly cracked pepper is the new standard for “fast food.”
Even though these beans are small, you should take your time and gently allow them to fully cook. They are edible quite soon after you start but the real creaminess comes with time and low, slow and gentle heat. The skins are almost not there, which means you can love them too much by constantly stirring them, and they will start to fall apart. This may sound a little snobby, but they’re not for everyone. They require a little more care and they're a little more expensive due to the low yields, but the payoff is a cannellini like no other.
So we now are happy to present the Marcella bean. I hope you love it as much as we do.
Recipes and more information on Marcella Bean at Rancho Gordo.
(There should be no implied endorsement by Marcella or Victor or Marcella’s family. From what I can tell, she was very strict about not lending her name and I respect that. This is my story and my tribute to one of my heroes. My goal is to honor her memory.)
Latin name: Phaseolus vulgaris