Fresh pinto beans in tomato sauce
- a cup of shelled fresh pinto beans
- a bit of olive oil
- a large shallot, finely chopped
- a 14.5 oz. can of organic diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- sea salt, to taste
- basil chiffonade, 5-6 leaves
Put the beans in a small saucepan and cover them with water (I used two cups). Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and cook the beans gently until just tender.
Warm up a bit of olive oil in a saucepan. Add the shallot, stir well to coat, then cook for a few minutes. Cover and continue cooking until the shallot is soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, stir, bring to a gentle bubble, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. If you want, mash some of the tomatoes with a potato masher or spoon.
Drain the beans and add to the tomato sauce. Again, bring back to a gentle bubble and cook for 15 minutes, or until the beans are cooked to your liking. Take the pan off the heat. Adjust the salt, if needed (the canned tomatoes contain salt), then add basil, and stir well to distribute.
Serving option #1: place a portion of beans in a bowl and distribute on the surface thin slices of caciotta or similar cheese. Cover the bowl and let stand for a few minutes, so the heat from the beans softens the cheese. Serve accompanied with toasted slices of country-style bread.
Serving option #2: serve beans with a side of soft polenta with some homemade caciotta cheese added at the end of the cooking time. Again here you can experiment with other cheeses.