5 Mar 2013

old beans in tomato sauce

Borlottis should not be this big!

What's that saying, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade? What about, when life hands you tough overgrown borlotti beans... stew them up with tomatoes?

At the end of a busy day, multi-tasking the housework, all I wanted to do was sit down and relax with a book. But my mind wouldn't switch 'off'. I knew if I stood in the vegie patch for a few minutes, I'd re-find my equilibrium. That or I'd go crackers looking at the work I needed to do with my end-of-summer patch.

I bent to say hello to the borlotti beans one last time - they were on my to-do list, to pull out, as they'd finished flowering and popping out their pretty speckled pods. However, they had other plans, and decided to prove me wrong - that or they were having a last hurrah - and I found, amongst the flat yellowing leaves I'd been ignoring for a week - a great handful of swollen pods. Big daddies.

I took them inside, chopped them up and threw them in a pan with some of the glorious garlic I'd bought at the farmers market that morning. I added a slosh of white wine and some roughly chopped tomatoes. I was aiming for a sauce, but the tomatoes released more liquid than I anticipated, so I ended up with a kind of sweet chunky stew. But I achieved my aim of softening those big beans: the vigorous bubbling and good slurp of olive oil meant the pods and the beans inside turned tender in the velvety sauce.

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