Dinner: Couscous e Fagioli
This is one of my favorite dishes to make regularly. It's more of a fall/winter type of dish but it dropped below 70 degrees in LA last week so it was basically fall for like, 2 days. ;) This rendition of this recipe was a happy accident. I wanted to make this Risi E Fagioli from Valleybrink Road but I didn't have rice or pancetta. So I subbed pearl couscous and bacon and now I actually prefer it more.
RECIPE: COUSCOUS E FAGIOLI
I usually cut the veggies for this recipe pretty small - almost the same size as the beans. It's going to seem like a lot of steps but they are simple. Also, this recipe calls for use of an emulsion blender. If you don't have one - you can use a regular blender or I imagine you could try to mash the mixture with a fork.
- 1/2 a small yellow onion, diced (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
- 1 large carrot or small carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large celery stock, chopped
- 3 strips bacon, diced
- 2/3 cup canned whole tomatoes, with juices
- 2 cans cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup pearl couscous
- Parmesan, for serving
- Chopped parsley, for serving
In a pot over medium heat, cook the onions in a little bit of olive oil until they are soft and translucent - about 5 minutes.
Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 8-10 minutes to help them soften up.
Add the bacon and cook until the bacon is cooked through - about 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juices. I like to sort of "mush" them in the pan with a wooden spoon to break them up. Cook for a couple minutes until the tomato is incorporated.
Add the beans and the bayleaves and stir together. Next, add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a low boil. Using a mug or a small bowl, remove a scoop of the veggies and broth mix and blend it with an emulsion blender until smooth. Add the blended mix back to the broth and bring to a simmer.
Add the couscous and stir. Cook on low heat until the mixture is thick and the couscous is done through - about 10-15 minutes. If you're feeling a little "extra" add in a couple tablespoons of butter and grating of parm. Salt and pepper to taste (I also sometimes add red pepper flakes) and you're ready to eat.
Serve warm with grated parm and chopped parsley.