White Bean, Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Plaki

Meat was a luxury menu item when my mother was growing
up, so legumes and grains were commonplace fare in their household. You might
say that my mom and her family ate vegetarian-style meals more often than not. 

Here’s a slightly modified version of a bean dish that my
grandmother used to make. This hearty dish will fill your tummy and satisfy
your soul.

NOTE: My grandmother used dried
beans which she soaked overnight and made her own red pepper paste for this,
and many other dishes. What a gal!

White Bean, Roasted Red Pepper, and Tomato Plaki

Bean, Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Plaki   

Serves 4 to 6 servings
    2 medium
onions, coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
    3 Tbsp. extra-virgin
olive oil (plus more for serving)
    Kosher salt, to
    freshly ground
pepper, to taste

    dash cayenne pepper, or Aleppo red pepper
    1 tsp. dried
    2 garlic cloves,
    1 Tbsp. red pepperpaste (tomato paste may be substituted)
    2 (15-ounce)
cans Northern beans (or any other white beans), rinsed and drained
    4 cups
vegetable broth, homemade or commercially prepared
    1 cup diced
tomatoes (diced canned tomatoes may be used; save the liquid for another use)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley; extra-virgin olive oil; lemon wedges


Step 1

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add chopped onions; season with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne or Aleppo red pepper. Cook, stirring
often, until onions are tender, about 10  minutes. Add roasted red peppers, oregano, minced
garlic and red pepper paste, (or tomato paste if using) and cook, stirring
often, until paste begins to turn deep red, about 3 minutes. 

Step 2

2. Add beans to the saucepan. Turn heat to medium-high.
Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Stir in 3 cups broth; bring to
a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, until liquid is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes and remaining 1 cup broth; simmer for another 5 minutes or until the consistency is
somewhat thick, not soupy.
Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. 

3. Place plaki in a serving bowl. Garnish with
chopped parsley. Drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired. 

Serve with lemon wedges.

Special Note: Chopped raw onions may be sprinkled on top, too.

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