I first made this dish several years ago, and I have made it more times than I can count since then. It's a favorite of mine, and I never tire of it. I still add more garlic (usually about 3 cloves), and I always use either fresh (my own Romano ones are best) or frozen if it's winter. Please, I beg you...don't use canned--it is NOT the same flavor. You want those beans to cook until they soften, and they become so sweet and meltingly tender you won't believe it. This is not the time to go crisp-tender. I always use sweet onion, and I don't add the sugar, and unless it's the height of summer, and my tomatoes are in, I usually use high quality, fire roasted whole ones that I crush by hand. Sometimes, I add a touch of bacon grease if I have it on hand, and I don't usually use the whole amount of olive oil. But I DO recommend you be generous with it...it really does make a difference. Smoked paprika is also great in these. Bottom line, this is one of the best vegetable dishes ever, so grab some beans and a pot, and get cooking! This tastes best slightly warm or room temp to me. A loaf of crusty bread to soak up those lovely juices and a hunk of salty cheese, and I've got the perfect meal.
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I first made this dish several years ago, and I have made it more times than I can count since...