500g gigantes beans (17 ounces)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 small clove of garlic
1 large onion, finely chopped
4-5 tbsps parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup of hot water
400g (14 ounces) tinned chopped tomatoes or 600g (21 ounces) ripped fresh tomatoes, grated
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
To prepare the gigantes plaki, start by soaking the gigantes beans overnight into plenty of water. Drain them into a colander and rinse with plenty of water.
Place the gigantes in a large pan with cold water, enough to cover them, add a pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes, until tender but not cooked. Drain them in a colander and set aside.
In the meantime, pour into a large baking pan the olive oil, add the chopped onions, the whole garlic clove (peeled) and bake at 180C, until softened and slightly colored (approx. 15 minutes).
Turn the baking pan out of the oven; add the gigantes beans (drained), the celery, the parsley, ½ cup of hot water and season with salt and pepper. Put back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Turn the baking tray out of the oven, blend the gigantes beans lightly with a wooden spoon and pour in the grated tomatoes or plum tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, add a pinch of oregano and bake the gigantes plaki further for 50-60 minutes at 180C, until the beans are soft and tender and the sauce thickens.
For an easier alternative, after soaking the gigantes beans overnight, drain and rinse them. Place in a large pan with enough water to cover them and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, drain them and place into a large baking pan, along with all of the ingredients, cover with some aluminum foil and bake at 180C for approx. 2 hours. The last 30 minutes, bake without the aluminium foil. Enjoy!