So far, my food experiments using new ingredients are the result of seeing a recipe first and then trying to find the new ingredient. This time, I noticed the ingredient first and then searched for a recipe. I was intrigued by seeing cranberry beans in my favorite local health food store, Good Earth Natural Foods.
How could something this pretty not be delicious?
After some internet research, I decided to try Cranberry Bean Pasta Fagioli from the Food Network Kitchen.
This is a savory recipe to be simmering in the slow cooker all day on a cold winter Saturday. I cooked garlic, onion, red pepper flakes and some prosciutto (the recipe calls for pancetta) in olive oil. This mixture cooked a few more minutes after the addition of some whole canned tomatoes. Then I added the cranberry beans, water, bay leaves and some Parmesan rind to simmer for several hours. I didn’t add as much water as the recipe called for and will add even less when I make it again. Once I added the pasta and kale, it wasn’t as soupy as I thought it would be. I also added three cups of pasta instead of two. I’m feeding teenage boys for heaven’s sake…
The flavors are wonderful and the cranberry beans are heartier than pinto beans yet have a mild flavor that blends rather than overpowers. I think I will try some in my next pot of chili.
Success – my sixteen year old wants the recipe in the cookbook I’m making him!
Happy New Year!!