Extremely comforting, one dish meal with much needed plant-based protein, fibers, complex carbs and plenty of flavor. Plus you get all the essential amino acids by combining grains and legumes. Besides it is easy to bring along for school or work lunches giving you an afternoon full of energy.
When I first created this recipe I had a soup in mind, but my ratio of liquid and orzo turned out to be a creamy and very satisfying ragu! It can be eaten on its own or paired with a crisp buttery toast.
Ragu is a traditional Italian thick meat and tomato sauce mostly served with pasta. Initially, ragu was a simple meat sauce made with leftover meat, cooked with onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes. Over time, the recipe evolved and wine, stock and herbs were added to create a more complex sauce.
In this recipe there is no meat but white navy beans. I also added 10% cream (use plant-based for a vegan dish), for extra creaminess and a rosé base sauce.
White navy beans are smaller, have an oval-shape and a little milder flavor when compared to the most common cannellini white beans. But this is more a technicality, because any kind of white bean will work wonders in this recipe.
White beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, with a half-cup serving providing about 6-8 grams of fiber. They are rich in soluble fiber, which binds to cholesterol in the digestive tract and helps to remove it from the body. They are also a good source of plant-based protein, a half-cup serving provides a whopping amount of 7-9 grams of protein. Because of their high fiber and protein attributes they may promote a healthy body weight.
Besides being very practical, canned tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, a known powerful antioxidant that may protect against cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases. They are also a good source of vitamin C, which promotes a healthy immune system and a wrinkle-free skin.
I know you are impressed with the ingredients. Here is another delighful recipe with white beans; Vegan “Cheesy” Quiche.
Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 36 mins | Total: 46 mins
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 small red onion roughly chopped
2 small red peppers roughly chopped
1 stalk of celery roughly chopped
1 26.9 fl oz (796 ml) can of tomatoes
1 cup of orzo pasta
2 cups of white navy beans
1 cup of water
1 ½ cups of cream 10%
2 tbsp of fresh basil chopped
2 tsp of maple syrup
Salt & black pepper to taste
In a large pot heat the oil, add the onions and cook for 4 minutes. Add the celery and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook until softened. Add the canned tomatoes and carrots.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Using an immersion blender, blend all the ingredients until a smooth sauce is obtained.
Add the water, orzo and white beans. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often until de orzo is “al dente”. Add the cream, chopped basil, maple syrup and salt and black pepper to taste.
Give a good stir to combine all the ingredients and serve with buttery toast if desired. Enjoy!