Share |

A Vegetarian Main Dish

Island Epicure

This week’s column features an Italian recipe for vegetarians and vegans, but anyone can enjoy it, even those who normally shun beans for fear of flatulence. The trick is to start a couple of days before you want to serve the delicious  dish. You start from scratch with dried beans that you soak overnight, drain, let breathe for a while, rinse, let breathe, repeat until until you see tiny white tails fon most of the beans. In summer this can take only 18 hours; in winter, a couple of days. Obviously, this takes longer than just opening a can of  beans--which would cause you gas when you ate them. Lightly sprouting dried beans is worth the time and effort.

Sprouting  does not work as well with adzuki beans, though.  They tend to turn bitter. Just soak them overnight or all day, then cook them. Those little red Japanese beans go well with rice, but for this Italian dish, red kidney beans seem to work best, keeping the sauce red. And the texture o each mouthful just right.  

Gluten Free
Pasta e Fagioli
3 to 4 servings

2 Tablespoons coconut oil or light olive oil
½ large light brown onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ large brown onion, diced
2 kale leaves, center ribs removed, cut in 1 ½-inch squares
1 cup cooked red kidney beans
1 to 2 teaspoons Italian herb mix
½ package (4 ounces) brown rice fettuccini
I Tablespoon  extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil

Start the kale parboiling in saucepan.  In a wide, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion. Stir-fry it until it is glossy and beginning to change color. Add the garlic. Stir fry 2 more minutes.
Drain the kale when it is tender (after about 20 minutes cooking--depends on the variety of kale) . Add the tomatoes and kale to the skillet with the onion-garlic mixture in it.  Add the cooked beans. Reduce heat beneath the skillet. Let this sauce simmer.

In a large sauce pan, in hot water brought to a boil, put the fettuccini and  2 teaspoons of olive oil,
Stir. If you have a large wooden cooking fork, use it to keep the fettuccini from sticking together.
Cook to the al dente stage. Drain and toss while drizzling in the last teaspoonful of excellent olive oil. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl or serve it from the skillet. (We use a handsome red skillet that looks fine on the table.) Each serving of a 3-serving divvying of the recipe yields 69 carbohydrates and 17 grams of protein. 44 of the carbs come from the fettuccini. If striving or a lower carb content for your meal, just take a smaller portion of the pasta.
Complete the meal with a salad of lettuce or chard plus diced cucumber and diced bell pepper. Offer olive oil and red wine vinegar to dress the salad. Salt is optional.