Minestra di farro

Adapted from Food52 and Great Italian Chefs

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 70 g of pancetta, minced (optional)
  • 1 small brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small celery , finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 600 g of waxy potatoes, peeled and diced (didn’t have — next time!)
  • 300 g of farro, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 7 ounces (or 200 grams) peeled tomatoes
  • 500 g of dried cannellini beans, or borlotti beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed (I used canned)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 4 to 5 fresh sage leaves
  • sea salt, as needed
  • freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide soup pot or saucepan; add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery and gently cook until soft and translucent. Add the pancetta and continue cooking until the fat has melted. Add herbs and peeled tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the cooked borlotti beans, along with their liquid. Stir to combine everything and add 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cook 10 minutes uncovered, then remove from heat. Remove the rosemary stick and blend (an immersion blender is ideal for this) until smooth.
  3. Add the farro to the bean purée (along with another cup of water to loosen it, using more or less as necessary) and continue cooking over low heat for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every now and then to check that the soup is not sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the farro is cooked al dente (with a pleasant bite to it, like pasta). It should be a fairly thick soup but you can add more water to your liking. Check for seasoning.
  4. Serve the soup with freshly ground black pepper and extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top.

This came together better than I expected, although I did not soak anything overnight, beans or farro. I used a can of Goya beans in sauce (white beans would have been closer to suitable but I had Green Pigeon Peas in Sauce). I was debating whether to add Latin beans to an Italian dish, but Jesse insisted on including beans in a stew recipe. Pancetta isn’t too shabby as an ingredient, but mushrooms can make such a delicious vegetarian substitute — I highly recommend, so that’s what I used. Also, forgot to add the rosemary until the last minute, better luck next time! Next level: homemade broth.

~Jessica

Budget Meals: Day 2

Ingredients
425 g GOYA white beans in sauce $1.50
3 small red potatoes $0.76
1 carrot $0.26
Ginger $0.54
1 head of garlic $0.42
3 red onions $0.67
1 red bell pepper $0.78
1 bunch of scallions $0.67
Total: $5.60

Directions
Chop finely 1 red potato, 1/2 the carrot, 1 red onion, the bell pepper. Mince a thumb of peeled ginger and all the head of garlic (it was going bad). Saute the onion, then ginger, then garlic in olive oil. Add the carrot, potato, and bell pepper in that order, cooking each a few minutes. Season with salt, black pepper, oregano, and thyme. Add the white beans (Blancas guisadas – preparadas con Aceite de Oliva, Cilantro, y Tomate). Rinse the can with water and add that too. I had some De Cecco elbow pasta lying around so I threw a handful of that in, along with a pinch of organic ground turmeric. Divide into bowls, top with sliced scallions. Serves 3-4.

~Jessica

Slow cooker chili con carne

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My sister just had a new baby, so we’ve been trying to create protein-rich, one pot meals that aren’t too complicated. Photo above includes the leftovers paired with a mushroom spinach cheese omelette and smoked gouda on English muffin.

Adapted from smitten kitchen

lean ground turkey (we had beef in the freezer)
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
chili powder, ground cumin, kosher salt, paprika, oregano, Dried red pepper flakes
1 can crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1-2 jalapenos or other fresh hot pepper, minced (we can’t tolerate too spicy though!)
1 bell pepper
vegetable/olive oil
1/2 bottle fresh tomato sauce or tomato puree
3 tablespoons cider vinegar (we forgot, next time!)
1 bottle beer (next time!!)

Heat the oil over moderately low heat and cook the onions until fragrant. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Raise the heat to medium and add the beef, stirring and breaking up any lumps until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Mix all the rest of the ingredients in your slow cooker. Serve with sour cream and grated cheese.

~Jessica

White bean soup with kale and rosemary

Adapted from Ina Garten and Damn Delicious, although inspired by smitten kitchen

1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 red onion, diced
olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large branch of fresh rosemary (I only had dried)
chicken stock
1 bay leaf
pinch of dried thyme
1/2 bunch of fresh basil
2 bay leaves
2 cups kale (I only had baby spinach)
fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Saute the onions in olive oil on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the beans, rosemary, stock, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Remove herbs and stir in greens (e.g. spinach) and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste, topped with fresh basil. Serve with toasted bread, drizzled with good olive oil and rubbed with cut garlic.

~Jessica

P.S. A similar attempt by myself. I also threw in some diced carrot and celery to use them up.

Cassoulet au canard

Baked white bean & duck casserole, from the can! but for a recipe from Saveur

white beans
slab bacon
black peppercorns
cloves
thyme, parsley, bay leaves } bouquet garni
yellow onions
duck breasts
duck sausage
duck legs
chicken stock
2 legs duck confit
whole peeled tomatoes in purée
duck fat

IMAG5158.jpgBefore heating in the oven at 190 deg C for 20 minutes, you should top it with a mixture of minced garlic, fresh bread crumbs, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

IMAG5159.jpg

roasted ratatouille and lasagna pasta, baked all together!

~Jessica

Pasta and white beans with sizzling garlic-rosemary oil

Adapted from smitten kitchen

1 medium onion, cut into big chunks
1 medium carrot, in big chunks
1 celery stalk, in big chunks
6 garlic cloves, 4 left whole, 2 finely chopped
some flat-leaf parsley leaves
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
glug of olive oil
pinch of salt
2 spoonfuls of tomato paste
500 g canned white beans, rinsed
500 g pasta (I used pappardelle this time)
1 tablespoon minced (fresh) rosemary

I forgot the parsley, and used pappardelle.IMAG3098.jpg

~Jessica

Tuscan (chard and) white bean stew

Adapted from smitten kitchen

500 g greens, e.g. spinach, swiss chard, kale (I used frozen)
glug of olive oil and pat of butter
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 large stalk celery, finely chopped (didn’t have any)
4 medium chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250 mL dry white wine
250 g canned white beans, rinsed and drained
400 mL (or more to taste) vegetable broth + 300 mL water
350 g pureed tomatoes (from a can/carton/your jarred summer supply)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh thyme sprigs (I only had dried)
1 bay leaf
splash of sherry vinegar
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serve with toasted, garlic-rubbed bread, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

~Jessica