• The Hammonton Gazette

Marion Condo shares her lupini bean recipe



Longtime Gazette reader Marion Capelli Condo shared the following with us after reading a recent “Growing Up Italian” column.


From Marion:


I have great memories about an old Italian tradition. Making our own lupini beans. First of all we would never buy the ones from the supermarket in jar. We start by buying two pounds of dry at Bagliani’s store. The following procedure is just a labor of love and memories of my mom, Marie Grasso Capelli.


First, wash the beans and discard any that float to the top, cover the beans with water and soak overnight in a large pot, next day drain off water. Next step, fill pot with clean water about two inches above beans. No salt yet.


Bring water to a boil, reduce heat to a normal boil. At some point, some foam will appear at the top of the pot. Skim this off with a metal spoon and continue to boil for 20 minutes. Drain lupini beans again and rinse with cold water. After they are cooled, put them in a two-gallon glass jar and cover with water.


You can purchase this size jar, if you don’t have one, at D & S Sub Shop, White Horse Pike, Waterford. (To have the right size jar is a very important step.)


Now for the next seven days you have to change the water at least once a day. Store the jar in a cool place, like the garage or cellar. On the seventh day, start adding salt to the water. This is done by just a handful at a time (about two tablespoons). Do this step for seven more days using salt each time the water is changed. We always started this procedure night after Thanksgiving to be sure they would be finished or “cured” by Christmas Eve.


To serve these delectable little beans all you do is add olive oil and salt. The bean can be eaten whole, or some people pop the skin and just eat the bean inside. Whatever you prefer. My mother told me that my grandmother used to soak them in a burlap bag “down by the creek.”


It just isn’t Christmas Eve without these beans on the table, next to her pickled wild mushroom and fresh vegetable salad, baccala salad and red wine.


I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane.


—Marion Capelli Condo


I want to thank Marion for sharing her family’s tradition. Lupini beans are not served at my family dinner table but maybe they should be?


Marion would love to know if you serve lupini beans at the holidays.


What is special about Marion’s story is that it shows the difference in how we are all raised.


Marion and I talked about family food traditions. We both love Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati) and Pignoli cookies.  If anyone has a good recipe or would like to bake us some, give us a call. Although to be fair, Marion is skilled at baking the Pignoli cookies.



Do you have a story about growing up Italian, either in Hammonton or anywhere else? Send it to hammontongazette@yahoo.com.