Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Beans in Spicy Tomato Sauce

a vegan dish

I've been itching to eat vegetarian tomato sauce beans but I didn't want to have the canned ones anymore; they're rather cloying.  Also, fresh is always best, so I decided to whip up my version of the tinned favourite.  Guess what, it tasted awesome!  It takes a lifetime to make but it's totally worth it.


This will feed:

- 2 to 3 people

You will need:
- a burning passion for cooking (otherwise this dish will taste like cardboard marinated in sweat squeezed from wet old socks) 
- 1 cup of dried beans (In my case red beans, but you can use any type you want.) 
- 4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped or pulsed to chunky bits in a food processor, seeds included (If you don't think they're large enough, add more.) 
- 3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped 
- 1 medium sized onion, coarsely chopped 
- 3 cloves of garlic, halved 
- 1 medium sized onion, quartered 
- 3 cayenne peppers, halved, de-seeded and cut crosswise (You can omit, reduce or increase based on your tolerance for spicy food.) 
-  1 tablespoon of olive oil 
- salt and pepper for seasoning 
- water (and lots of it) 
- ½ teaspoon of chopped basil 
- ½ teaspoon of dried or chopped marjoram/oregano

Let's make it:

Cooking this dish has three parts:  preparing the beans, preparing the tomato sauce, and cooking them together

Preparing the beans: 
1-3.  Soak the beans on 4 cups of water overnight 
1.  Add beans to 4 cups of boiling water. 
2.  Bring back to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. 
3.  After 5 minutes, turn the heat off; put the lid on and leave for 2 hours to cool. 
4.  Drain and rinse with cold water. 
5.  Put the beans back in a pan and cover it well with water.  Make sure the water lever is about an inch above the beans. 
6.  Add halved garlic, quartered onion, 2 pinches of salt and bring to the boil. 
7.  When it comes to the boil, bring the heat to low.  Cover with a lid and simmer for about 1 hour.  We're not looking to tenderise too much because we will put them through another cooking stage later on. 
8.  After an hour of simmering, drain the beans and set them aside.

Preparing the tomato sauce: 
1.  In a saucepan, wok, or frying pan of considerable depth, sauté the chopped garlic and onion for about a minute. 
2.  Add in your cayenne pepper and sauté for 30 seconds. 
3.  Add in your juicy tomatoes and mix well. 
4.  Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. 
5.  When it comes to the boil, add in your herbs (basil and marjoram) and mix well. 
6.  Reduce the heat very low; cover the pan and simmer gently for about 1 hour.  Check on the sauce every 20 minutes to make sure the sauce doesn't dry up.  It should get thick but not to the point where it can potentially burn, so if you think it lacks fluidity, stir in 2 tablespoons of water at a time.

Putting the two together: 
1.  Add the beans to the pan where the tomato sauce is simmering. 
2.  Cover and allow to cook with the same low heat for about 15-30 minutes, until the beans are comfortably tender to the bite.  Test by biting on a bean after every once in a while. 
3.  Season as deemed necessary and serve.

tomato sauce beans

beans in tomato sauce
Here's a green tomato version of such awesomeness!  Slightly more tart but no less blissful.


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Go ahead and be awesome!