Italian Bean Casserole

Simon Rimmer's tasty vegetarian lunch dish combines borlotti and cannellini beans with spinach and mushrooms in a rich tomato and red wine sauce
By Simon Rimmer
Italian Bean Casserole
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-3
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

main

  • 400 g mixed cooked or canned borlotti and cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • handful of chopped spinach
  • black pepper
  • 200 g wild mushrooms, wiped clean
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • butter, for frying
  • sprigs rosemary, to garnish

For the tomato and red wine sauce:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • butter, for frying
  • 150 g tomato purée
  • 450 ml red wine
  • 450 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • few sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked

To serve:

  • parmesan shavings
  • bread

Tips and Suggestions


Although not strictly speaking a casserole as normally understood, this tasty Italian equivalent of baked beans could be used as the base for a casserole of beef, lamb or venison.

This dish can be vegan if using vegetable stock and omitting the parmesan.

Method

1. To make the sauce, in a heavy-based pan, gently fry the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in butter until soft. Add the tomato paste and cook for 7-8 minutes, until a rich red colour. Add the wine, stock and rosemary, bring to boil and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.

2. Add the beans to the sauce, warm through and then add the spinach. Season to taste.

3. While the beans are warming through, fry the mushrooms with the garlic in the butter until softened and season well.

4. Place a generous serving of the beans and sauce in a bowl, top with the mushrooms, garnish with Parmesan shavings and some rosemary, and serve with warm bread.

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