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BEAN PASTA CASSEROLE

                                                  BEAN PASTA CASSEROLE

This is an very smart way to combine pasta and beans because no flour or butter is needed in order to make the dish thick. It can be cooked as a soup or baked. You will need to use three types of beans, chickpea and orzo pasta. With the help of bacon and sun dried sweet red peppers it turns into one very interesting and tasty dish.

INGREDIENTS:

100 gr. white kidney beans

50 gr. red kidney beans

50 gr. black-eyed peas

50 gr. chickpea

50 gr. orzo pasta

2 big onions

1/2 cup tomato juice

1 celery root

1 potato

half bundle fresh parsley

4 slices smoked bacon

4  sun dried sweet red peppers (optional) or 1 teaspoon sweet red paprika

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

5 tablespoons olive oil

Soak beans and chickpea in a pot with cold water and 1/4 teaspoon salt during the night, not less then 8 hours.

Pour the water rinse well. Pour fresh cold water in the pot and simmer until white foam is formed on the surface. Pour this water and rinse well ( my grandmother used to warn me not to skip this step because beans are better digested if you cook them this way).  Then add 1 liter or 5 cups of water in the pot and simmer for and hour and a half.

Transfer the beans and chickpea in a baking pan with cover pour the water from the pot.
Put the onions and tomato juice in a food processor and then add it in to the baking pan.
Peel the potato and celery root cut them in 4, put them in the pan.
Finely chop the parsley sprinkle on top of the beans.
Fry the bacon until it gets crispy and put it the pan.
Add the peppers or paprika.
Add salt sugar stir everything well cover the pan and bake for 1 hour on 200 degrees Celsius.

After and hour open the oven, lift the cover and check the water that is left (should be about a cup and a half ). Add another cup of hot water if  you think what is left is not going to be enough for the orzo pasta to be cooked. Add the pasta, cover the pan, bake for additional 30 minutes.

Dish is ready to be served. Enjoy!

TIP: You can speed up the process by using canned baked beans and chickpea just make sure you drain and rinse them before adding to the baking pan.

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