I have a confession to make. I’ve never cooked dried beans before. Cans are just so easy. And generic brand black beans only set me back something like $1.09 a can. Sure that is way more than their dried friends, but protein for two for $1.09… I’m not complaining. Almost. Every time I use a can of beans I cringe. Not only am I clogging our arteries with the added sodium, but I’m really not helping out the environment that much either.
But on Saturday, all this was about to change. At the St. Lawrence Market I was inspired. (Likely source of inspiration: the macarons). In all seriousness, I don’t know what happened. I saw some tasty looking black beans at Rube’s, and with a hop in my
step little-plastic-bag-filling, I bought them. And today, I cooked them.
Never. Going. Back…
Ever. They taste like fresh little morsels of heaven.
Although, they were a little labour intensive. After cleaning my beans I soaked them for 10 hours at room temperature. Then I boiled them for an hour and a half. Next time, I’ll make more than one meal’s worth of beans at once and freeze them (duh).
While all this bean cooking was going on, I was preparing one of my Mom’s (via Canadian Living) tasty recipes: Penne with Squash and (you guessed it) Black Beans.
I love this recipe, it’s easy and delicious. Chop up an onion, a red pepper (I used an orange pepper,but red is nice for some added colour), garlic and about a half of a small butternut squash.
Fry it all up.
Make sure you cook some tasty penne for this dish. I love love love la Molisana pasta. Cheap, delicious, and made with one, count-it, one ingredient. That’s my kind of food.
Oh yeah, and it has 7gm of fibre (28% of your recommended daily intake) per serving.
Add your newly cooked fresh little morsels of heaven to the sauce that is simmering away. Mix that all up with the penne and a mini mountain of parmigiano reggiano, and presto chango… dinner!
I may have forgot the parsley garnish, which, not only would have tasted delicious, but would have spruced up my picture, big time! No worries though, the hubs didn’t seem to miss it!
Penne with Squash and Black Beans
From my mom(!) via Canadian Living
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
- 3 cups (750 mL) peeled and cubed butternut squashes
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) crumbled dried sageI don’t like sage.
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) vegetable stock
- 19 oz (539 g) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups (750 mL) penne pasta
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsleyI totally forgot. I always forget this
- A pinch of Alpine Touch (my mom’s addition). [Ed. Alpine Touch is delicious. Probably because it is made of MSG. I don't have any Alpine Touch in my house, so I don't add it. That's not to say I wouldn't.].
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; fry onion, garlic, red pepper, squash, sage, salt and pepper until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is tender, about 12 minutes. [Ed. I don't add the red (or whatever colour I happen to be using pepper) until the last 6 minutes. Mushy pepper makes me sad.] Add black beans; heat through.
Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook penne until tender but firm, 8 minutes. Drain and return to pot, reserving 3/4 cup (175 mL) cooking liquid. Add squash mixture and half of the Parmesan cheese; toss to coat. Add enough of the cooking liquid to moisten, if necessary. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and parsley.