The first rains of September and fresh beans on a stew - comfort food at its best
The wind is blowing outside, as I sit here and write this post. Not too much, not strong gusts, but it's fairly windy out, today. The skies are grey, heavily clouded, and I cannot see the river nor the sea, I can't even see further down the road past the next building. And the rain keeps falling, it has been raining all afternoon. It's Sunday, and though the post won't be up before next Tuesday, the very day my boy is going back to school, I like to get a headstart on things. We finished up cleaning the house a deep clean, we have made sure there are no cockroaches left, everything is sanitized, disinfected, squeaky clean and safe. Safe from bugs, I mean. It all looks inviting, comforting, cozy and I am sleeping better at night, and I once more love being at home.
When we started cleaning the living room - the last room room still left - this morning, the sun was shinning, but I had already started putting up my Autumn decors. I had changed the flowers - fake, as I am highly alergic to the real thing - and put up pine cones and little Fall vignettes. Still haven't brought out one of my plaid throws, as I was thinking it might be a little too early. Autumn won't officially begin before the twenty first of September, and we're still days away from that date! And then it started raining. And it all felt like it was falling into place, Fall is here again, soon I'll be sipping hot teas and cozying up with a warm throw, soon my son will be back to school, soon there will be candles lit and warmer jackets and tights and boots. Soon. But not yet. And then the rain came down. Waking up cravings and a desire for comforting foods!! Soups and roasts and stews.
Last Saturday we drove down to this market that is not too far from where we live. Meaning that it takes about twenty to thirty minutes to get there by car. We woke up early, as we like having a choice of produce, and the sooner one gets there, the best stuff one gets! We particularly like having next to no people at the butchers, and this market has a wonderful array of butchers. We are particularly fond of certain sausages, as we know they are good and know what goes into them. Plus, they're made from real tripe and not plastic. We also like to get burgers there, and meat that cannot be found elsewhere, like goat. As for the fruit and vegetables, it is a far cry from supermarket bought produce, so I do harp on my husband to go there and get certain things. They're better, tastier, fresher, cheaper. So I stocked up on certain items that I'm sure won't be found elsewhere. Like these beans.
I have no idea what these beans are called, I named them shelling beans, as one has to shell them from the pod. They're my favourite beans in the whole world - and let me tell you that I do love beans, and would eat beans at every meal easily enough! - as they are so fragrant and tasty and fresh. They still take time to cook, but no need for a pressure cooker or overnight soaking. They're kind of amazing on slow cooked stews, and they go well with an array of ingredients. I have devised variations on a simple stew that I cook using beans, and as these are so quickly gone, I try to indulge as much as I can. They're also great in soups, and I have used them that way a couple of times, but when I saw them at the market last Saturday, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them, as my mind was thrown back to this dish I cooked while we were still on vacation, on one of those evenings when the weather was so autumnal as to be begging for a warm, fragrant stew. This one was a question of getting into a pan whatever we already had lying around the house.
So, to make this simple stew that has a certain italian feel to it - if only for the use of pasta and oregano!! - you will need:
- 500 gr of beans
- one large cup of pipe doppia rigature or any other small type pasta
- three to four small onions, red if you can manage, for the added sweetness
- one large chorizo
- two carrots, diced
- one clove of garlic finely chopped
- a small handfull of dried oregano and a couple of bay leaves - or rosemary, if you prefer
- four large ripe tomatoes
- one egg per person
- two large cups of chicken stock or plain tap water
- olive oil, salt and pepper to taste