So after my unfortunate encounter with meat the other day, I’m gladly sharing with you another chapter from the Vegetarian in Chile series. This week we’ve been having a taste of Concepción’s infamous rainy winters. And I don’t know about you, but when the weather turns cold and miserable, I turn to hot and hearty comfort food.
Porotos con Riendas is the ultimate meal for winter comfort. It will knock you out for the count. Do not expect to eat this and then be able to do much after. It is advisable not to eat Porotos con Riendas if you need to drive or operate heavy machinery. Think thick vegetable soup packed full of hearty beans and…wait for it…spaghetti! So if you’re struggling to pick between pasta and soup to warm the belly (this is actually a major challenge for me – first world problems), then look no further.
Any sort of white bean should do for this recipe, like navy bean or cannelloni. They have different types here in Chile, we picked some dried beans up from the market the other day. They had about 5 or 6 different kinds of white bean alone!
- 3 cups dried white beans, soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight
- Some spaghetti, about a quarter of a packet. I used spinach flavoured spaghetti because that’s all we had in the house, but good old white pasta will do.
- Half an onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced or crushed
- 1 cup pumpkin, chopped into bite sized pieces
- Handful of red capsicum just for the colour, roughly chopped
- Tablespoon oregano
- Teaspoon cumin
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- About a tablespoon of olive oil, butter, manteca (lard) – what ever flavour you prefer (I used butter and olive oil!) – for frying
- Salt and pepper
Sautee the onion and the garlic in the olive oil/ butter/ manteca in a large pot over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the spices, pumpkin and capsicum and continue to fry for a few more minutes to release all those flavours. Drain the beans and add them to the pot, stirring through. Add the stock cube and enough boiling water to cover the beans by about 2 cm. Cook over low heat with the lid on until the beans and pumpkin are soft, then add the spaghetti. Continue to cook until the pasta is al dente and serve hot.