Spicy cannellini beans with creamy polenta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 brown onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 long fresh red chilli, halved, deseeded, finely chopped

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, drained, rinsed

2 x  400g cans chopped tomatoes

1 teapsoon brown sugar

500ml (2 cups) milk

500ml (2 cups) water

170g (1 cup) instant polenta (cornmeal)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh contintental parsley


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, chilli, paprika and thyme and cook, stirring for 1 minute or until aromatic.

Add the beans and tomato. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-25mins or until the mixture thickens. Stir in the sugar and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, place the milk and water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Gradually add the polenta in a thin steady steam, whisking constantly until incorporated. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture thickens and the polenta is soft. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the polenta among the serving bowls. Top with the bean mixture and sprinkle with the parsley to serve.

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