Guest Author - Shona Porteous
The pasta dish that I am about to present to you has been a weekly staple in my house for years. It is made with simple ingredients that can usually be found lurking in any vegetarian pantry: canned beans, canned tomatoes, and dry pasta.
Besides being quick and easy, this recipe can be varied endlessly. You can use any kind of bean you like. A few of my favorites are red kidney beans, navy beans, and black beans. If you don't like beans, you can omit them and add crumbled tempeh, crumbled seasoned frozen tofu, or veggie 'hamburger' or 'sausage' crumbles instead. You can also use a different pasta shape like fusilli or rotini.
Some nice combinations would be: julienned onion, peppers and carrots, and veggie 'chicken' strips; chopped onions, mushrooms, veggie crumbles, Italian seasonings; black beans, corn, salsa, Mexican seasonings; red kidney beans, chopped onions and peppers, chili seasonings.
For a more savoury dish, a bit of tomato sauce can be added along with the tomatoes, or you can omit the tomatoes and use a cup of tomato sauce. Just be sure to have at least 3 cups of liquid for the pasta to cook in. Feel free to play around. This is a pretty foolproof recipe!
One Pan Penne
This is a fat-free vegan recipe.
2 cups dry penne pasta
2 cups canned diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 (540ml/19fl.oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed,
or 1 1/2 cups home-cooked beans
1 cup kernel corn, can use frozen
1 teaspoon each dried oregano, dried basil, onion granules
1/2 teaspoon each garlic granules, salt
In a large skillet with a lid, combine the tomatoes, water or broth, the cannellini beans, corn, and seasonings. Cover the skillet with the lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the penne and stir well. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat to minimum, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Taste for salt. Serve hot with your favorite green vegetable and some crusty bread.
Makes 4 servings.