puglia pasta and black beans

The evening before both turning twice the age at which one normally takes the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) and retaking them in solidarity with ms_ani, dr bob faces a problem they have been frequently avoiding in the past unpleasant test preparation month, namely cooking something tasty and healthy at home instead of eating outside prepared food that although sometimes tasty, was probably not very healthy as a regular thing.

Pasta with beans would satisfy the protein requirement that considerably more effort with some frozen chicken breast would meet. Half a can of black beans were left over from a previous such attempt with rice. To be matched with some great Puglia pasta, cicatelli, never heard of 'em before, but looking like a longer twisted version of cavatelli and lovingly made by the Cara Nonna (dear grandma) pasta factory and overpriced at the urban gourmet food store where the shopping team spotted them.


1 lb cicatelli (or any cavatelli-like pasta)
2 T olive oil
1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 large carrot
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 or so fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
10 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 T dried chives
2 t hot paprika
freshly ground pepper
1/2 or 1 can black beans
1/2 c parmigiano


The experiment proceeded as follows. The new food processor recently acquired much later in life than necessary got all the veggies. First the onion, red pepper, carrot, and celery all got processed together. Meanwhile the pasta water got started. [And the pasta later dumped in at the boiling stage with salt, who knows how much—we always just throw that in casually.] Saute'd the first batch of veggies with the olive oil in an 8 quart nonstick pot. And threw in the chopped garlic.

Meanwhile the tomatoes go into the food processor next and are roughly chopped. After about 10 minutes, maybe less, in go the tomatoes to join the saute party. Then the basil, chives and spices, and the beans. Let it go for another 10 minutes. Finish by adjusting the salt and pepper, mixing in the pasta and adding the parmigiano. Is this brain food or what?


  1. Don't ask about the GRE's. These tests should be outlawed.
pgpstabb.htm: 6-aug-2001 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]