White kidney beans
These large Italian beans are one of the many varieties of the common bean. They are ivory in color, relatively large and long when cooked, with a creamy texture. When a recipe simply calls for "white beans," cannellini are an excellent, widely available choice.
1 cup dried beans = 2-1/2 cups cooked beans
Great northern beans or white navy beans are fine substitutes.
Choose dried beans that look plump, unwrinkled, and evenly colored. Pick over dried beans before using to remove any small pebbles.
Canned cannellini should be thoroughly rinsed before using. Dried cannellini should be soaked before cooking, both to speed cooking time and to reduce any gas-causing tendencies. There are two ways to soak dried beans: Overnight soak: Rinse the beans, then cover with an inch of cold water and let soak at room temperature for at least four hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans before cooking them. Quick-soak method: Rinse the beans, then put in a saucepan, cover with an inch of water, and bring to a boil. Boil for a few minutes and then let them soak for an hour off the heat, drain, and then add fresh water and continue cooking. Soaked cannellini will cook in 60 to 90 minutes. Use 3 cups of water for each cup of uncooked beans, and you can season the beans by adding bay leaves, herb sprigs, or garlic cloves to the cooking water. The myth that adding salt to beans while they cook will toughen their skins is completely false, so feel free to salt while cooking to boost the beans' flavor.
Canned beans have a shelf life of 2 to 3 years. Store dried beans in a covered container for up to 1 year. You can precook cannellini and store them, refrigerated, in their cooking liquid for up to 3 days.