Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Bean stew with bacon and pesto

Cheap is the order of the day for food in my house at the moment. Since deciding (I mean really deciding, not moaning on and on to my friends but not really doing anything practical to ensure eventual success) that I don't want to spend the rest of my life renting someone else's house, I've been saving like mad. Oh the cuts I've made!

So out with lovely luxurious food (like meat and butter) and in with beans. Beans, beans, beans, with the occasional lentil thrown in for variety. Lentil  night is a real thrill in my house, I tell you.

Last night I made this thing which was very cheap and actually quite tasty, and not very bad for you - so it's the holy trinity of weekday dinners. If you make it with dried and soaked beans it's even cheaper and the dream of home ownership will become a reality even sooner.

Serves 3-4 (4 with a salad)
1 tin of cannellini beans
1 tin of haricot beans
1 little pack of lardons or some snipped up smoked bacon
1 large onion
2 fat cloves of garlic
1 pepper (and any other veg you've got hanging about)
1 tin of tomatoes
1 big squeeze of tomatoe puree
Stock cube (I used beef but only because that's all I had) and water.

Fry the bacon in a slosh of oil until it's quite crispy and has released most of it's lovely tasty fat, then add the chopped onion and squashed garlic and fry until soft.

Chop the pepper and any other veg you've got sitting in the fridge making you feel bad (courgettes, carrots, aubergine would all be nice) and sling them in to fry away for a couple of minutes. Add your tomatoes and a squeeze of tomato puree.

Add the drained beans and enough stock to cover them. Boil away for 15 mins and then serve with some pesto (a packet of basil whizzed up with some oil, lemon, a garlic clove and a bit of grated parmisan) drizzled on the top. I had an old sad bit of focaccia in the fridge too so I drizzled it with oil, rubbed a garlic clove on it and grilled it. For waste is the enemy of frugality.

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