This weekend, I was given four pounds of tomatoes that were over ripe and needed to be cooked. Although I work full time, I still like to make my meals from scratch. I also like to make large batches so I can get more than one meal out of my cooking time. Using a little of my Italian savvy, I came up with this recipe. And with tomato season around the corner, I thought I’d share it with you.
Linguini with Beef & Bean Sauce
This recipe initially serves a family of 4, but there will be enough sauce left over for another full meal.
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 – 2 pounds stew beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 pounds tomatoes (any one variety or a mixture), cut into quarter-sized pieces
- 3 (15 oz) cans black beans
- 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
- Dried chili peppers – amount depends on variety and your taste for heat (I used 7 dried fish peppers and 7 dried lemon drop peppers for medium heat)
- 1 pound linguini pasta
- Water to cook pasta
1. In a medium stew pot (I used an 8-quart pot), saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent.
2. Add stew beef to pot and stir to cover the pieces with the oil, onions, and garlic. Cover and stir periodically until the beef has fully browned.
3. Add tomatoes and stir mixture well. Keep on medium heat without the cover until it begins to bubble. Then turn down to medium-low heat. (On my electric stove, medium heat is number 6. I turned the stove down to 4.)
4. After adding the tomatoes, let it cook for about a half hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes so the bottom won’t stick. Add the crushed chili peppers, salt, parsley, and oregano and stir well.
5. After another half hour, add the beans. Then add the tomato paste, one can at a time, stirring until the paste has become blended into the sauce. Turn the heat down to simmer. (That’s a 2 on my stove.)
6. Simmer for another half hour or until the meat is very tender. Continue to stir every 10 minutes or so.
7. Once the meat is tender, heat up a pot of water and cook the linguini per package instructions.
8. Serve linguini topped with beef & bean sauce, along with a fresh garden salad.
You will have enough sauce left over for another complete meal, which you may serve over brown rice or another type of pasta. One cooking effort, two meals, and a way to use lots of garden tomatoes. Nothing wrong with that!