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.
There is absolutely no way you can go wrong with this combination. Just don’t forget to cook it
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.
You don’t want too much pasta. It’s called Porotos con Riendas, not Reindas con Porotos.
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.
As promised, albeit a couple of days late, the next recipe in the series, A Vegetarian in Chile. We all know that winter is coming, and Guizo de Acelga, a.k.a Silverbeet Stew, is the perfect go to food for warding off the cold. It’s also quick and dead easy to make, using inexpensive ingredients that you can come by most of the year.
This one is basically a variation on Guizo de Zapallo Italiano, but there are a few differences which make this dish extra delicious (I’ll give you a hint: It’s cream).
I’ve chosen to serve the guizo with Papas Doradas (the greatest fried potatoes you’ll ever eat), but Chilean-style Rice is also a great accompaniment. Go ahead and click on the above link to Guizo de Zapallo Italiano for details on how to make either of these sides.
There quite a few variations on how to make a guizo out of this leafy green vegetable. I’m sure my Chilean friends have their own delicious and unique versions, and I’d LOVE to hear your tips, guys 🙂
Traditionally Guizo de Acelga is made with mince meat, but these days it’s not uncommon to find it without, so here is the meat-free version for your vegetarian enjoyment.
- 1 small brown onion, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- A bunch of silverbeet, washed, stalks removed and roughly chopped
- 3 eggs, lightly whisked
- 2 tablespoons of cream
- 1 vegetable stock cube, dissolved in a bit of hot water – just a few tablespoons so the quizo doesn’t get to liquidy.
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
If serving with one (or both) of the sides mentioned above, start first as these take longer to cook than the guizo.
Heat the oil in a large pot and sautee the onion and garlic on medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the carrot, silverbeet and stock and cook on low heat with the lid on until the silverbeet has completely wilted. You may need to stir periodically and add small amounts of water if sticking to the bottom. Add the cream and eggs and stir through until heated. Season to taste and serve with your chosen accompaniment.