Friday, March 18, 2016

Fagioli con Pesto

These borlotti beans seemed like they might be a perfect companion for pesto sauce ... and so, they are! I've added other vegetables that might be found in pesto sauced pastas, and find they all marry together quite nicely. Add others you enjoy, and have on hand - zucchini, other squashes, or cherry tomatoes.


1 cup dried borlotti beans, or cranberry or toscanelli beans
4 cups water
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup peeled and cubed potatoes
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
2 apple sausages (optional)
1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Add beans to water, bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for one hour. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, adding the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the onion mixture to the beans, along with the vegetables (potatoes through red pepper). Bring the bean mixture to a simmer, cover and cook for about 45 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the beans are not sticking. If they begin to stick, add some additional water. Cook the sausages, drain, then slice thinly. Add the sausages to the soup. Check the beans for doneness by tasting them. When the beans are cooked through, add the pesto sauce and basil. Check for seasoning, adding salt if needed. Serve, topping each bowl with a tablespoon of shredded Parmesan.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: This dish can be made vegetarian by omitting the sausages. However this dish is served, you'll be surprised by the number of people requesting seconds!

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