In DC, I tried a great pasta dish that used Romano beans. They were so good – nutty, melt in your mouth. But I can find them no where in Columbia, South Carolina. I think I’m going to have to order them online, which is crazy. That being said, I wanted to share what information I’ve found on them.
Cranberry Beans (Phaseolus Vulgaris) are related to the Kidney Bean (Phaseolus Vulgaris). Cranberries are like the Pinto Bean but reversed in color with pink skin and maroon mottling. They are somewhat plumper than the Pinto and are about 1/2 inch long. Cranberry Beans have a sweet, mild flavor. Also referred to as a borlotto, crab eye, roman, romano, rosecoco or saluggia bean. They may be interchanged in recipes wherever Borlotti or Saluggia Beans are required. Like their Mexican and Italian cousins (Pinto and Kidney), they will turn pink when cooked. They’re delicious in recipes with sweet or savory spices.
In Italy, Cranberry Beans are used in pasta dishes and soups. Add them to rice dishes, stews, casseroles, cold bean and vegetable salads. For a quick and flavorful salad toss the beans with crumbled gorgonzola cheese, olive oil and a dash of fresh rosemary.