I had a feeling it was going to be a quiet day at work, too cold for people to come out and leave their warm offices or warm homes. You can hardly blame them, had I been in their shoes, I too would have been couched up in front of the fire, or in my case snuggled up under a blanket with my hot water bottle or next to the central heating.
And this is this is the kind of food I would want to be tucking into - a warm bowl of Smoked Paprika bean stew with rib sticking pasta, in this case orzo. Orzo pasta also known as Riso pasta - so called because of its rice like shape. It makes for a wonderful addition to casseroles, soups and stews such as this one. Funnily enough the last time I cooked with orzo was also for a stew - if your interested, it was Kale and Bean Stew.
I think this is the right kind of dish for the weather we have today. Oh so perfect in many ways, but namely to switch off to the howling winds, chill and ice in the air. I think its the smoked paprika that brings this dish together: warming, wholesome and soothing.
I am linking this recipe with Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes. Jacqueline is hosting March 2013 Edition #22 of Bookmarked Recipes: a monthly blog event initiated by Ruth of Ruth's Kitchen Experiments; .
Paprika Bean Stew with Orzo Pasta
Serves 6 with crusty bread
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onions, peeled and finely sliced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks of celery, peeled of stringy bits and sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 - 11/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or to taste
2 x 400g tins of tomatoes, chopped
2 bay leaf
400ml vegetable stock
1 x 400g borlotti beans, drained and rinsed well
150g orzo/ riso pasta, or any other tiny shape
Handful of fresh parsley, well chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
In a wide pan with a lid, heat the oil until hot. Add the vegetables and and saute for a little while, stirring now again to stop it from sticking and burning. Then stir in the garlic and continue to fry gently for about 10 minutes or so until vegetables become translucent, stir in the paprika and simmer for a minute or so for the flavours to infuse the vegetables. Now add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaf and vegetable stock and simmer with the lid for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent the vegetables from sticking.
After 30 minutes or so, stir in the borlotti beans, along with the riso pasta and simmer until the riso is well cooked. Fold in the parsley and season to taste. I like it to be a little soupy bordering on stew like, but you can cook it a little more it you want a thicker stew. Adapted for a veg(etari)an diet from Spooning with Rosie by Rosie Lovell.