A lot of my discussions about food are like, "I made this and it was so great," which I guess comes out as kinda cocky. So for a little balance, I'll post about something I made that was an ill-conceived disaster.
First, I roasted some vegetables. I cored these here tomatoes and filled the cores with olive oil, salt, and a bit of pepper. Roasted them, 2 onions, and 3 pimientos in the oven at about 400. Removed the peels from the tomatoes & peppers, put it all in a saucepan, cooked it down until the clear juices from the tomatoes were pretty well reduced, then pureed it. Salt & pepper to taste. So far so good, but there was a wicked metallic tang, probably from the pan I roasted the peppers & onions in. The salt helped mask it, but it was still detectable.
Then I cooked up some white beans. Soaked overnight, then cooked with herbs and shallots til soft, salting toward the end. Drained the beans, left half whole, and pureed half with some chopped parsley and ricotta. Boy, did that need a lot of salt to taste like anything.
So then I cooked up some pasta with ridges on one side and a scoop shape that I hoped would cuddle with the whole beans. I tossed the pasta with the bean puree & whole beans and put it in a casserole pan. Added blobs of ricotta and dotted it with oil-cured olives. Then poured the roasted vegetable sauce over the top in ribbons. Baked it until the sides started getting crusty.
Yuck! I mentioned in my post about duck that beans are really drying. The moisture level in the pasta and beans mingled and turned into a sticky, mushy yuck, whereas I was looking for that slightly slippery pasta texture. I wasn't really thinking about how that would be achieved. I'd reduced the red sauce so far that it couldn't contribute any lubrication, it was just more sticky goop. The olives that I'd expected to be a salty, tangy counterpoint ended up being way too sweet. I ate some because I was hungry, then threw the rest in the trash. Booo!
I think the right way to do this dish is to toss the pasta with the red sauce, and add little blobs of the bean puree here & there, use tangier olives, and cover the top so it can't dry out too much. Is the idea even worth it? Not sure.
There was plenty of sauce leftover, which was salvageable. For lunch today I heated it up with some slices of finocchona salame and a little water to thin it back out, and tossed it with pasta. It was remarkable mostly for the delicious salame.