just me

Pasta and Bean Casserole

In Pasta, Uncategorized on May 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm
pasta and bean casserole

So rich and hearty, even the kids will eat their beans!

I know, I know. It’s too hot for a casserole. So crank the air down to sixty, ’cause you’re gonna want to try this! It’s actually a vegetarian dish, although not vegan because of the cheese. The beans make it high in protein, so you can feel good about eating it even though it tastes really fattening. It’s not, though! Well, the cheese is, but there’s not much of it.

I wasn’t sure about this dish at first. When you’re just reading the recipe, it doesn’t sound all that impressive, but it is! The cheese forms the perfect little crust, and when it come s steaming out of the oven, your salivary glands will start reacting like garden sprinklers. It’s also a great make-ahead dish, and it freezes well. This recipe fed the Gorilla and I, and we have enough for another dinner in the freezer.

Pasta and Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup split red lentils

1 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tomatoes, chopped

4 cups water

1/2 pound rotini, dry

1 pear, chopped

1 tablespoon ketchup

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon lemon juice

4 ounces mozzarella, shredded

3 slices of toast

salt, pepper, coriander, turmeric to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Liberally butter a glass baking dish and set aside.

In a large pot, saute to onion in the oil until tender.

Add the garlic, tomatoes, beans, lentils, pear, and water, and bring to a boil.

Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium, and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until everything is tender.

Add the rotini, ketchup, and parsley, and let simmer another 10 minutes, or until rotini is cooked.

If the mixture is beginning to dry out, add a little more water. It won’t hurt anything.

Stir in the seasonings and spices, and the lemon juice. Stir very, very well.

Pour it into your baking dish and top with the cheese.

Run the toast through the food processor until you get breadcrumbs (see how I tricked you into that again?), and sprinkle the crumbs on top of the dish.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

A word of advice – this stuff holds heat like a neutron star, so let it cool for awhile before you dig in. Example – my last bite was still steaming when  I put it in my mouth. Have fun!

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