Pasta and Beans with Garlic Butter Sage Sauce

You may know I am enamored with the combination of pasta & beans; many types of pasta, many types of beans. There are special pairs that marry and complement well, but I haven’t yet found a match that didn’t work.

The inspiration for this dish came from a desire to use fewer dishes, hence cooking the beans & pasta together, albeit staggered, and also a trip to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where my husband and I ate a fantastic meal at an unassuming restaurant. I have tried on a few occasions to replicate the creamy, dreamy, sagey beans I ate there as well as the hibiscus & lavender iced tea. It’s honestly extremely refreshing to have vegetarian options that are not a hummus platter, boring veggie sandwich, or some hobbled together side dishes.

Coincidentally, this week I did use Zero Waste Chef’s recipe for making fermented hibiscus soda and it is AMAZING. It also fermented so fast, I burped it on the second day and the contents shot out all over my ceiling and staircase. Kind of a disaster, but it’s my fault for leaving it in a room that was reaching 88F.

The sauce is simply minced garlic and sage leaves fried in some butter, then added olive oil. Nothing else is needed when ingredients are fresh, local, and high quality.

The sage is from my herb garden. The plant has been going strong for at least four years now! I like how the beans find themselves nestled into the pasta shells. It makes for a fun eating experience!

What you could use to make this dish:

Small white navy beans*

Pasta shells

Butter (or just olive oil)

Salt

Sage leaves

Garlic

*What I have been doing when soaking beans is to add salt to the soaking water so they are soaking in a brine rather than plain water and it increases the flavor of the beans exponentially. Soak overnight, then drain the brine.

Add beans to a pot with plenty of water and some more salt.

Cook until nearly tender, then add the pasta and cook until beans and pasta are both perfect textures. Overdone beans are much more pleasant than overdone pasta. Drain the water, then put back into the pan.

Chop garlic and add to a small sauce or frying pan with a pat of butter and the sage. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes, then add in some olive oil and heat until warm.

Top the bean and pasta mixture with the sage and butter sauce.

Enjoy!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Food Waste: cherry tomatoes + 2 recipes

Another school snack saved from the dumpster.

This picture is my idealistic view on how tomatoes should come. Freshly washed, ready for eating, sweet from the sun that turned them their true colors. Unfortunately, the next picture shows the true view on how they came to my classroom: plastic shells. Fortunately, the plastic is #2 which can be recycled here.

I dig fresh heirloom tomatoes raw, but these were…not tasty. They tasted like something was forced in the process of getting them to the market. My students ate more than I expected them to, but they were so pretty, I knew I couldn’t just sacrifice these to the compost goddesses. These would need special treatment by way of oils, spices, salt, and plenty of heat.

The first thing I did with a couple pints was oven roast them.

I cut the tomatoes in half, then added some sugar, a bit of salt, and a couple Tablespoons of olive oil.

They laid out face-up on the baking sheet, and they roasted for nearly an hour at 350F.

They melted and poured their juices out and became way more flavorful in the process.

Be sure to scrape any of the tastiness from the baking sheet to store with the tomatoes in a glass jar. I’ll store these in the fridge to add to dishes throughout the week.

In the above picture, you can see I still had plenty of tomatoes to work with.

Next up was tomato sauce to go with the spaghetti I had bought in my own bag at WinCo!

It all started with a bunch of nice cloves of garlic. Mince them!

Prepare tomatoes by cutting them in half. This will make quick work of the tomato sauce.

Heat up some olive oil, then add in all the delicious minced garlic and let it permeate throughout the house. Mmm!

Add in the halved tomatoes and turn the heat up to get it all started.

Turn the heat to medium, and when the tomatoes have let out some of their juices, add in herb(s) of choice. Obviously basil is a good choice, but so is oregano, or what I’m using which is marjoram because I have a giant bush of marjoram out front that is always begging me to use in every Italian dish.

Sprinkle in some sea salt while this simmers away.

It starts to break down and get thicker. This is after about 10 minutes. Stir every few minutes, but it doesn’t need close watching.

Here it is after 30 minutes, and I could have stopped it here and had a wonderful tomato sauce, but I let it go even further because I felt like the tomatoes needed extra caramelizing since they were mostly flavorless to begin with.

And it’s done now! It’s thick, and smells amazing. I didn’t bother with blending it at all, but did pick out the little sticks of marjoram that were left.

Cook up something delicious for a base! Of course, I cooked spaghetti, added in some white beans, fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, and more salt. Out of this world good, and truly not too long of a dinner especially considering it is fresh tomato sauce!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Peruano Bean & Orzo Soup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In case you couldn’t tell, I love orzo. It’s so fun, I can easily find it in bulk, and it can be made into a variety of dishes.

Here, I’ve cooked up yet another variation of pasta and beans. True love!

I started this soup off with the typical mirepoix which is onion, celery, and carrot. I know those vegetables aren’t deemed exotic or glamorous, but dang they are delicious and staples for a reason.

In an effort to reduce waste, I typically use an entire onion anytime I cook with onion. I also chopped up a few carrots and a few stalks of celery, including the leaves.

From there, I just built up the soup adding homemade bouillon, water, cooked Peruano beans, and nearing the end, orzo. It’s honestly that easy to have a simple, delicious dinner. This is easily vegan, just start with oil, which is what I did, or you can start with butter if you prefer that taste.

All this soup needed was some salt and pepper and a big, hearty slice of homemade sourdough bread to accompany it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I hope to soon share yet another pasta + bean “recipe” for you!

Peace and love,

Kristan