Friday, December 15, 2006

Don't let the unknown scare you away...

I debated back and forth over the past couple of weeks about making this recipe, Bean Bolognese, for dinner. Even though I've finally gotten Jeff to admit he actually does like beans, he is always a little apprehensive with new recipes that use them. However, neither of us will know if we like something unless we just give it a go... right? The recipe calls for a can of "salad beans" - I found this product at Common Market, a natural market we frequent, but you could just use your favorite variety of beans. This is actually just a combination of chickpeas, kidney and pinto beans for a variety of flavors and textures.

In some olive oil, onions, carrots and celery are cooked until soft. Fresh garlic and a bay leaf are added, followed by a few splashes of white wine for flavor and to help loosen any caramelized bits on the bottom of the skillet. Fire-roasted diced tomatoes and fresh parsley are mixed in with a portion of the beans that we mashed. The mashed beans add a hearty thickness to the sauce as the juice from the tomatoes bubbles away. To stand up to this substantial sauce, we served it over burly fettuccine noodles and topped it with nutty fresh grated Parmesan cheese. This satisfying and veggie-friendly twist to a classic Bolognese sauce was just as good as one with meat - we were both surprised with just how much we ended up liking the dish!


  1. Gday!....from Melbourne, Australia.
    I make a lentil version that I use on spaghetti or in lasagne.
    It's basically canned lentils, lots of fresh garlic, either a jar of tomato pasta sauce or tinned tomatoes. I cook it for around 30min, then at the end add fresh basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. It's 'meaty' and rich.

  2. That looks delicious, Joe! I have to admit though I've never seen a can of salad beans...ever. Is there a national brand that makes these?

  3. That sounds tasty. I want to try that one.

  4. Jodie - That sounds good!

    Val - I think the name was Westbrae!

    Pearl - Thanks!