Anna (sciamanna) wrote in vegancooking,

Pasta coi borlotti

Borlotti is a variety of beans which is very popular in Italy. These days, they're usually bought canned, and that's the kind I always use -- partly because I've never seen them fresh or dried here in Dublin, but also because the canned version is very good anyway. Apparently they're the same thing as American "cranberry beans", and they're similar to pinto beans (not the same, but I suspect pinto could be used for this recipe). Here's what they look like when they're raw and when they're cooked. I've also made this with pre-cooked blackeye beans (called blackeye peas by Americans, I think, just to confuse things).

If you haven't tried borlotti, do! They're delicious, quite mealy and meaty. They're used in lots of Italian recipes, and they can also be eaten on their own as a salad (extra free vegan recipe!! Drain and rinse canned borlotti, add extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped spring onion/scallion, leave to blend for a while and eat.)

This is a very simple and quick pasta recipe which I love and make quite often.

To work properly, it requires a pasta with a somewhat rough surface. I usually make it with tagliatelle (fresh if possible, otherwise dried). Orecchiette (as in the previous recipe posted) also work very well. Lasagnette (or broken-up lasagne) and similar flat, rough-surfaced pasta also work. And most fresh pasta works for the same reason.

Quantities are for 4 servings.

300-400 g tagliatelle (or see above for other types of pasta)
1 tin (~250 g) of borlotti beans
extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
3 dried chillies (not really optional, but you can reduce the quantity if you must...)

1. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse well. Leave in the colander to drain, with some salt sprinkled over them.
2. Boil a large pot of salted water. If using dried pasta, throw it in and cook it for 5 minutes before starting the next step; if using fresh, start the next step immediately after the pasta is in the pot.
3. In a wok or large pan, heat up the oil with the (peeled and bruised) garlic cloves, salt, ground black pepper and chillies.
4. When the pasta is cooked, drain it on top of the beans (so they heat up). Get rid of as much water as possible.
5. Toss the pasta and beans into the wok/pan and mix well with the flavoured oil. Remove the garlic (easier to do it just before you add the pasta, in fact). Fry together for a couple of minutes and serve.

(Note that this recipe is not at all the same as "pasta e fagioli", which sounds very generic but is in fact a fairly specific traditional recipe. It also uses borlotti, but it's completely different. It also doesn't really work as a vegetarian recipe, much to my chagrin -- it can be done, but it's not the same.)
Tags: pasta
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