Cannellini Bean Sauce and Herbed Tomato Sauce Over Carrot Rice

Cannellini Bean Sauce and Herbed Tomato Sauce Over Carrot Rice

Once in a while it's a treat to prepare something that looks like a gourmet meal and give it a gourmet-sounding name without going to the trouble of gourmet preparation. This layered cannellini bean and carrot rice entrée began as an attempt to modify an ordinary Indian rice and dal one-pot "kichari" and turned into something neither Indian, one-pot, nor ordinary once I decided on using cannellini beans, which are too good not to enjoy a pride of place on their own on any plate. And when the Italian-inspired seasonings started taking over in the planning, a little zesty tomato sauce just seemed to be the perfect way to top everything off.

As elegant as this dinner will appear at your table and as delicious as the triple layers of textures and flavors will disappear into your mouth, this recipe is actually very simple and makes an entire meal alongside a simple green salad or some steamed vegetables. The best part is that the drained cooking liquid from the beans makes an astonishingly tasty stock for cooking up a very easy and delicious kale and vegetable soup the next day.

Cannellini Bean Sauce and Herbed Tomato Sauce Over Carrot RiceCannellini Bean Sauce and Herbed Tomato Sauce Over Carrot Rice
Recipe by
Published on April 9, 2008

Simple and elegant rice and shredded carrot served with a savory, creamy white bean sauce and a rich zesty tomato sauce

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Bean sauce:
  • 1 cup dried cannellini (white kidney) beans
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed
  • 4 dried whole red chilies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Tomato sauce:
  • 4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 fresh green chili, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 cups water
  • Rinse the cannellini beans and soak overnight in several inches of water in a bowl with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. Drain and rinse, and set aside.

  • Before cooking, rinse the rice and let air-dry in a fine-meshed strainer.

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic, and stir-fry for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent. Toss in the cumin seeds, cardamom pods, dried chilies and bay leaf, and sauté for another minute or until the cumin seeds have browned. Add the beans, pour in the vegetable stock, and turn up the heat to bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are plump and soft. Remove from heat and stir in the salt, tasting for seasoning.

  • While the beans are simmering, combine all the ingredients for the tomato sauce except for the black pepper in a frying pan. Bring to medium heat and fry, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are reduced to a thick sauce, like a pasta sauce, about 30 minutes. Season with fresh ground black pepper, and keep warm over low heat.

  • When the beans are finished cooking, prepare the rice by heating 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Toss in the shredded carrot, and sauté for a minute or two, turning over to coat the carrot with oil. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Immediately add the rice, stir once, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

  • Meanwhile, finish the bean sauce by removing the cardamom pods, chilies and bay leaf, and draining the beans while reserving the cooking liquid. In a large bowl or in the saucepan, mash the beans with a potato masher until creamy but still lumpy (do not feel that you need to mash all the beans). Add 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, and stir in fresh ground black pepper and the parsley. Save the rest of the cooking liquid — about 2 cups — as stock for soups.

  • To serve, spoon plenty of the rice onto a plate, top with a generous ladle of the bean sauce, and cover with a spoonful of the tomato sauce.

Makes 4 servings
Cannellini Bean Sauce and Herbed Tomato Sauce Over Carrot Rice


Anonymous said...

Sounds like the perfect "save"! ;)

Kale is one of my favorites--looking forward to the soup!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the perfect "save"! ;)

Kale is one of my favorites--looking forward to the soup!

Unknown said...

Just discovered your blog, and wow! Love the sound and look of this dish! I've been eating more and more vegetarian meals of late, and always want something satisfying - for both the taste buds as well as the eyes. This dish does it all!

test it comm said...

That looks good and sounds nice and healthy. The maple syrup in the tomatoes sounds interesting.

Veda said...

Thanks Lisa...woow that looks delicious!!!

Arundathi said...

that looks lovely. you have a great blog here...

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This does sound like a delicious and quick thinking recipe Lisa, I love the layers of flavour:D

LisaRene said...

This is a great idea and sounds very tasty. As always the spices you use are amazing. The tomato recipe is really appealing with the spicy aspect, fresh herbs and maple syrup.