Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A very passionate stew

A few months back we had a run-in with one of our older neighbours over some very loud early morning phone calls conducted in her backyard. There has been a quiet simmering resentment of the non-talking variety since then until last night, when I wandered in our back gate, head full of thoughts of what to make for dinner, and it all went quickly pear shaped.

I'm not normally the sort of person who has run-ins but my wordy did it happen last night. She called me something under her breath and it was game on. The hose came out, hers mind you, which she liberally sprayed me with, insults were traded, neighbours waded in. It was all quite alarming and I will admit just a little bit exciting.

But here's the interesting part.  After I had slammed the door, dumped the groceries, then headed right back outside to call a truce (this took some time as you can imagine) and returned back inside for the second time, I managed to make rather a good veggie stew.  I'll share it with you now, just in case you have the odd run-in of your own or just a hard day and need something quick and nourishing, which you can bang out with minimal fuss and preparation and which tastes good.  

Passionate Stew
Made with what I had in the shopping bag (with help from the freezer)
Serves 4

1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes, blended
1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped coarsely
1 large zucchini, chopped
3/4 cup frozen spinach
1 tbs paprika
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
olive oil to drizzle

Firstly, to really get into the spirit of things, you need to harrumph around the kitchen for a good few minutes banging down utensils and ingredients as though they are your enemy. Then, once you've cooled down a bit, cook the onions and zucchini in a saucepan on medium heat for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes, paprika and cannellini beans.

Now let it all simmer for about 10 minutes or so, like a nicely brewing rage.  Thaw the frozen spinach and add in to cook for an additional few minutes.

Season with a little salt and pepper (my still slightly shaking hands added quite a lot of pepper, more than I would usually add but then maybe that's the secret) and then ladle into bowls. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and serve on its own or with crackers or crusty bread.

To be eaten with gusto and if possible, whilst recounting tales of victory. 

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