Borlotti beans and rice are a winning combination.
Risotto with beans is a typical first course of the farmers’ tradition.
It was cooked in the countryside, especially in the Po Valley, thanks to the availability of few products needed to prepare a tasty and nutritious recipe.
A very simple recipe, which today we can enrich with an abundant sprinkling of parmesan cheese (not originally used).
This risotto is a healthy way to benefit from the nutrients of borlotti beans, which are rich in potassium, phosphorus and protein.
I used canned beans in this recipe, as they are faster to cook and require no preparation before cooking.
Below I will explain how to cook fresh beans and dry ones as well.
Let’s Talk A Bit About Borlotti Beans
What Are Borlotti Beans?
Borlotti beans or cranberry beans are legumes, belonging to the family of Phaseolus vulgaris, a plant imported from Central America and nowadays cultivated in all temperate climates.
What Are Borlotti Beans Good For?
Rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium, borlotti beans are an excellent source of protein.
Moreover, when well cooked, they contain sulfur compounds and chromium which help to keep blood sugar and cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood under control.
Being capable of balancing the intake of carbohydrates and lipids in the blood, borlotti beans are, therefore, an excellent alternative to meat.
In fact they contain about 23 to 40 gr. of proteins per 100 gr.
What Do Borlotti Beans Taste Like?
Borlotti beans have a sweetish flavor with a soft, creamy texture.
Do You Have To Soak Dried Borlotti Beans?
This helps to make legumes more digestible.
It is also useful to eliminate dirt and any impurity that may lurk in the skin of the beans.
After having eliminated shriveled beans and those having a strange color, you will have to soak your beans in cold water for many hours, even better for a whole night.
Once the necessary time for soaking has passed, you will have to drain the beans and rinse them under cold running water.
How Do You Cook Dried Beans?
Soak them first, as explained above.
You will have to use a pot with high sides and you will have to completely cover your dried beans with at least two liters of cold water and, if you want to enhance their taste even more, add some garlic cloves and some bay leaves.
Never add salt to the cooking water: salt, in fact, would make the skin of the beans too hard, and during cooking would cause them to break.
Once this is done, put the pot on hot and let your beans boil.
As for cooking times, dry beans must cook from a minimum of one hour to a maximum of two on low heat.
Can You Freeze Cooked Beans?
Once cooked, wash them very quickly under cold running water and let them dry on a clean towel.
Once dry store them in freezer bags.
Store for up to 8 months.
How To Cook Fresh Borlotti Beans
It is very simple to cook fresh beans.
Rinse them with fresh water and put them in a saucepan with plenty of cold water.
Add the aromas and herbs.
Simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring frequently.
Add boiling water if necessary.
Borlotti Beans: A Delicious Recipe For Enjoying Beans At Their Best
See also these recipes with rice:
- The Best Risotto Recipes You’ll Want To Make For Dinner Tonight
- Rice Porridge Recipe With Flavorful Pork Meatballs That You’ll Want To Try
- Black Beans And Rice: Spanish Caribbean Recipe
- 240g Borlotti beans (1.5 cup). I use canned borlotti beans
- 2 Garlic gloves
- 2 Cups of vegetable broth
- 20 Chopped cherry tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 Cup of uncooked rice ( arborio rice)
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- For this dish I use canned borlotti bean. Before cooking, remove the liquid and wash them under running water.
- To prepare this recipe we will need a pot with high sides.
- We start by pouring the olive oil and garlic into the pot, over medium heat let the garlic brown. This will serve to add flavor to the oil.
- When the garlic is golden brown, add the chopped cherry tomatoes.
- Salt and pepper the cherry tomatoes for flavor and let them cook on low/medium heat for about 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, heat the stock to a simmer. Lower the heat so the stock stays hot while you cook the risotto.
- After 7 minutes of cooking the cherry tomatoes, when we see that it will be well soft, add the beans and let them take on flavor for a few minutes.
- For a perfect risotto we need to toast the rice. Add all the rice to the pan and, without adding any broth, cook it over medium/high heat for 3-4 minutes. Stir continuously to prevent rice from sticking or burning, until you notice a translucent appearance of the grains.
At this stage, the heat of the pan changes the surface of the grains, making it more resistant and waterproof. This way the grains do not break and lose their crunchiness during cooking.
Moreover, the release of starch during cooking will be much more gradual, helping you to obtain a thicker and creamier risotto.
- Now add the hot broth a little at a time, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon (always leave the rice covered with an inch of broth for even cooking).
- Let it cook like this until the rice is cooked (about 15/17 minutes).
- Remove risotto from heat and cream with parmesan cheese, mix well. You can now plate the rice. Add some black pepper and parsley and if you prefer, a little more Parmesan cheese.
Add the rice to the pot.
For an even richer dish, add diced bacon.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 763mgCarbohydrates: 71gFiber: 6gSugar: 13gProtein: 10g
Storing Your Leftover
Rice and beans can be kept in the fridge for 2 days in an airtight container.
Can I freeze the risotto
I recommend not doing so.
Risotto can become harder during the freezing and unfreezing process.