Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Cajun-Inspired Red Bean Pasta

One of my Facebook friends posted a recipe video for a Cajun-style pasta that looked ridiculously good, except for all the chicken and sausage in it. I've pretty much gone back to a vegetarian diet now that I'm having zero problems eating and gaining weight, so I thought I'd turn a red beans and rice recipe into a red beans and pasta recipe. It worked out well because I'd just bought an enormous package of pasta from Costco, and we had green bell peppers from our CSA that we needed to use up.

Adapted from Budget Bytes Vegan Red Beans and Rice. Makes about 6 servings. 

1/2 lb. dry kidney beans
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 medium bell pepper (green in my case)
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth + water or broth to add as necessary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 whole bay leaf
1/4 Tsp paprika
Black pepper, to taste (a few pinches)
A couple pinches cayenne pepper
6-8 oz whole wheat pasta (spaghetti for me)
salt to taste
  • Prepare the kidney beans. I cooked them earlier in the day, simmering them on low until soft, making sure to keep the water level above the beans as they cooked. You can also soak them overnight, then increase the simmering time in the recipe to a couple hours. After pre-cooking or pre-soaking them, rinse them in a colander before adding to the recipe.
  • In a large pot, sauté the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic until soft. Add the 3 cups of broth, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne. Add the rinsed beans. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • With a wooden spoon, smash half of the beans to make the mixture a little thicker (you can also blend some of the mixture). Then add the pasta to the pot.
  • You might need to add a little water or broth at this point to accommodate the pasta. I added about 1 3/4 cup of water. Cook the pasta to your desired firmness (around 20 minutes). 
  • Add a little salt to taste before serving. I also added a bit more cayenne because I like it spicy. 
In the future, I'd probably use a little more garlic and add some mushrooms, but this was a happy experiment. Enjoy!


Bearette said...

Interesting. Was it very spicy?

Domestic Kate said...

No, it was kind of bland for my taste until I added a bit more cayenne before serving. My husband enjoyed it without the extra cayenne.