Bean Ragu

What follows is a one of my first stab at an actual recipe design. If you miss my useless facts adventures do check out the stuff after the recipe.

Notes before we begin: I use both crushed and diced tomatoes to keep a bit more tomato texture; you can swap for a 28z can of crushed if you prefer. You’ll want calcium chloride in both your beans and diced tomatoes as this will help them retain texture.

Ingredients
30z canned black beans, don’t drain
14.5z canned diced tomatoes, see tomato reviews for suggestions
14.5z canned crushed tomatoes
1.5 t vegetable base, Empire if you can find it, if not Better than Bullion
3 t (3g) dried basil
6 t (3g) oregano
.5 t (1.5g) birds eye pepper powder, if you don’t have birds eye you can use cayenne and quadruple the amount. Note if you’re sensitive to heat I’d start with half and adjust to taste
1 t black pepper, medium grind
2 bay leaves
1 lg (150g) yellow onion, finely diced
2 T (20g) garlic, finely minced
4 T extra virgin olive oil, note we won’t be doing high heat so a nicer olive oil will shine here.
1 C warm water

Instructions
Dissolve vegetable base in water, set aside. Saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add spices, bay leaves, and garlic and saute for another minute. Add vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Add in beans, sauce and all and simmer uncovered for fifteen minutes. Add in tomatoes including sauce and return to simmer for another five minutes. Adjust salt to taste and serve over thick noodles or spaghetti squash.

Useless facts
When I designed this recipe I was exploring how to keep texture and nutritional content in decent shape. A lot of folks like garbanzo beans but the texture didn’t cut it and if you’re controlling for fat or carbs they’re actually higher in both. They also tend be more grainy. I also tried to add dried ones at the end to finish and that was terrible too. Black beans won for protein content and flavor profile. Also the 14.5z cans are known as #300 cans though I’d imagine almost noone outside the canning industry would care :)

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