Saturday, 16 June 2012

Cheesy noodles with spicy bean casserole

As we were wandering aimlessly through the supermarket aisles, the victim declared a hankering for "Pot Noodle".... sheesh!  So, I tried to fashion something not to replicate, but to echo the best in the product, and minimise the processing... So, spicy bean casserole - nothing to do with the instant product, but savoury cheesy noodles to go alongside to provide the comforting (and ever so slightly slimy) texture.  Casserole:- Chop and sautee in olive oil:- onion, garlic, celery, courgette and roasted peppers (veg of your choice obv).  Add very finely chopped red chili and tbsp(ish) mediterranean herbs.  When vegetables are soft add tin of canneloni beans.  Stir through, add tin of chopped tomatoes and a cup of stock.  Simmer, season, simmer etc - until veg are all soft and flavour has developed (at least 30 minutes, but as long as you have really).  10 minutes before you are ready to eat cook noodles in boiling stock - I used 4 minute egg noodles in vegetable stock.  Don't swamp the noodles, you want the stock to soak in as they cook, so I started with about 200ml per noodle portion, and added a little more water when they looked dry.  When cooked, pull of the heat for 30 seconds, allow stock to soak in (if they are still wet drain off most of the excess stock) and stir in good dollop of cream cheese and a tbsp grated parmesan.  This makes the noodles slippy, deliciously stodgy and savoury.  Serve, with grated black pepper.  I think this was a success.  Victim slurped all noodles, but declared the bean casserole "too hot" - which is very odd, because it's usually me who wusses on spicy, and I finished mine no probs.  To avoid this catastrophe, be careful how much fresh chili is added!

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