BLACK SPAGHETTI WITH BORLOTTI BEANS IN AN ARRABBIATA STYLE SAUCE

 

A simple pasta dish that is quick to prepare. As ever my inspiration came from the limited contents of the fridge plus frozen ingredients from the freezer. In the summer I had a good harvest of borlotti beans (cranberry beans) and I froze these rather than drying them as this preserved their texture and flavour and makes them quicker to cook. I also had a few green tomatoes left at the end of the season which I sautéed and froze in individual bags. Arrabbiata requires chilli heat and I also have a freezer full of chillies of various heat/colour.

 

As I tend to avoid processed wheat I used gluten free soya spaghetti but any good pasta will suffice. I like the coloured pasta just for variation. So to start I assembled the ingredients I had to hand.

 

Ingredients:-

1 carrot-finely chopped

1 small onion-finely chopped

1 stick of celery-finely chopped

Clove of garlic-crushed (or a squeeze of cheats garlic in a tube-it’s just as good)

1/2 tin of plum tomatoes-chopped

1 pack of frozen green tomatoes

A handful of fresh cherry or small plum tomatoes

2 good handfuls of borlotti beans-cooked in salted boiling water for 15 minutes or until almost cooked

3 or 4 pieces of brined artichokes (I like the texture and they are readily and cheaply available from European style shops as well as all the main supermarkets) but use canned beans (borlotti, cannelini, butter beans)  if you can’t find fresh/frozen.

1 stock cube

Olive oil

A sprig of fresh rosemary (this herb is hardy and will withstand the cold all through the winter-a great asset for the kitchen garden or patio pot)

Dried pasta (roughly 50-75grms dried weight per serving)

A handful of rocket

 

Method:-

Sauté the finely chopped vegetables until soft, add the garlic, finely chopped chilli (to taste), tinned tomatoes and the frozen green tomatoes if using. Simmer on a low to medium heat, adding a little water if required. Crumble in half of the stock cube, the chopped artichokes and the cooked drained borlotti beans. Keep simmering on a low heat, adding the finely chopped rosemary when the other ingredients are nearly cooked.

 

Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the instructions, depending on the type of pasta this will be between 7-12 minutes.

 

Halve the fresh cherry or baby plum tomatoes and add to the sauce, check the seasoning and add salt and black pepper to taste. The fresh tomatoes will take very little time to soften so don’t leave too long or the freshness will disappear. At the last minute stir in the rocket and allow this to wilt in the sauce.

 

Drain the pasta, toss in a little oil and serve on warm plates topped with the arrabbiata sauce. Sprinkle with a little cheese, I used a blue cheese but any type will work. Omit the cheese if a vegan version is required although there are good vegan ‘cheeses’ available now, I have a hard white version with a smoky taste which is perfect for grating.

 

A warming, welcoming and simple dish served up in less than 30 minutes.