Every so often I’ll be in the middle of cooking something that I thought would be good blog content and I’ll realize that I have made so many left turns during the process that there is no way that anyone could ever recreate what I had just done.
My labyrinthine recipes this week were inspired by the more than 4 lbs of dried lima beans that we have gotten from the CSA. Honestly, I don’t even know when we got them, I’m not sure what the best way is to prepare them, and I feel a bit lost when trying to work out how my family might actually enjoy them. So I soaked and then peeled and then cooked and then pureed a pound of them and tried a few things out.
1. Lima Beans as addition to Pasta Sauce
Here, I used a cup of dried, soaked, peeled, cooked, then pureed lima beans, but if that sounds like too much work to you (which, of course it does!), just substitute a can of canellini beans for the limas. Besides the insane lima prep, this actually comes together fast enough for a weeknight meal.
- 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 C pureed limas or 1 can cannellini
- 1/2 C white wine or vermouth
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2.5 uncooked chicken sausage links
- 1/4 c cream
- 8 oz orichette (or similar) pasta
- 1/2 slice bread, grated
- 1/4 C parm, grated
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Remove sausage from casings and crumble into a large pan. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until cooked through. Meanwhile blend beans and tomato sauce in a food processor until smooth. Remove sausage to a separate dish, and pour the fat out of the pan. Return the pan to the heat and add garlic. Cook one minute. Add wine or vermouth, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in tomato mix and cream. Add sausage back in to the mix, and season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs, parm and a little more salt and pepper.
Mix pasta and sauce together well then add the mix to a 9×9 baking dish. Top with the breadcrumb mix and bake for 10 minutes, or until the top is melty and a little brown.
2. Lima Cakes
Probably your kids are better eaters than mine? Mine can be a bit challenging, so I look for recipes that can be made super bland for the kids and then spiced up for the adults. This fits the bill. These cakes were really neutral tasting. Adults had theirs with some pesto over top. Kids had theirs with ranch. Weirdly, it all worked. This is a variation on mashed potato cakes that has at least a little more nutrition going for it, and the kids don’t seem to hate it any worse, which isn’t saying much…
- 2 C pureed lima, or 2 cans white beans, pureed
- 1 egg
- 5 – 6 Tbs corn starch
- Salt and pepper
(Arguably, the panko is not really necessary here. I wanted a bit more crunch, but it got a little lost in the mix. Still, I’d do it again. If I wasn’t trying to get kids to eat it, these would have had garlic, grated onion, and some green in them.)
Mix mashed beans with egg, cornstarch and salt and pepper. On a separate plate, mix some panko with salt and pepper. Form the beans into patties and then dredge in the panko. Cook them on a non-stick surface for about 3 – 5 minutes per side. I flatten mine as they are cooking on the second side to ensure that they stick together well. Serve immediately. Makes 8 cakes.