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Canned Borlotti Beans Instead Of Dry

Asked by Alexan100. Answered on 31st October 2016

Full question

Can we use canned borlotti beans in your Pasta E Fagioli instead off dried ones. And what is a popsock? Thank you!

Our answer

Nigella's Pasta E Fagioli (from NIGELLA BITES) is a hearty bean and pasta soup made with borlotti beans. In the recipe Nigella cooks the dried beans first, using a bouquet garni of rosemary, garlic and onion. The bouquet garni is put into a popsock, which is a short to knee-high sock made from nylon tight (pantyhose) material. It holds the bouquet garni ingredients together and ensures that no stray needles of rosemary escape, but you can certainly use a small bag made from muslin, or something similar, instead.

It is possible to use drained and canned beans for a speedier version, but as you will not have the rich garlic and rosemary-infused cooking liquid from the cooked beans then the flavour of the soup will not be the same and it may have a thinner consistency. One tin of drained beans is roughly equivalent to 110g dried beans that are cooked, so you will need 5 x 400g (15-ounce) tins. Drain and rinse the beans and blend a mugful (or more if you want a thicker soup), with 250ml (1 cup) vegetable stock and the tomato puree (paste). At step 4 add the drained and blended beans and enough vegetable stock to cover, then bring everything to the boil. Add the pasta and cook following the pasta packet instructions, adding a little extra water if needed. Taste and season the soup before serving.

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