Baked gratin of scarlet runner beans

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 cup Dried scarlet runner beans soaked and drained *
1 large Whole onion(s)
2 mediums Carrots, coarsely chopped
1 medium Stalk celery with leaves coarsely chopped
4½ cup Warm water
3 larges Sprigs flat-leaf parsley
3 \N Sprigs thyme
1 large Bay leaf
\N \N Salt to taste
\N \N The Versatile Grain
\N \N and the
\N \N Elegant Bean
\N \N by Sheryl and Mel London
\N \N ISBN 0-671-76106-4
\N \N pg 445-446
6 ounces Fusilli or penne pasta *
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 \N To 3 garlic clove(s) finely minced
½ cup Flat-leaf parsley, minced
\N \N Pepper to taste
\N \N Butter to grease baking dish
3 tablespoons Butter
3 \N Anchovies, rinsed dried on paper towels
2 cups Fresh bread crumbs

To a 3-qt. non-stick saucepan, add the drained beans, onion, carrots, celery and water. Tie the parsley, thyme and bay leaf together with string and add to the pot. Cover, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 1 hours, adding additional boiling water as needed to keep beans covered; add salt in last 5 minutes of cooking.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a large skillet and saut the garlic without browning it over medium-low heat, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Stir in half the parsley. When the pasta is cooked, drain and add it to the skillet, stirring it in. Season with pepper and set aside.

When the beans are tender, lift out and discard onion and herb bouquet; add salt to taste. Drain and reserve bean liquid. Stir beans into the skillet with the pasta. Butter a 2½-qt. shallow baking dish and transfer the mixture to the dish. Stir in ⅔ cup of the reserved bean liquid to moisten, then wipe out the skillet. Return the skillet to the stove and melt the 3 tbs butter over low heat.

Stir in the anchovies and crush them while stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining parsley and stir into the mixture in the baking dish. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the baking dish. Put the bread crumbs in a covered bowl and refrigerate them too.

When ready to serve, remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and return it to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 400F. Sprinkle the surface of the baking dish with the bread crumbs and bake, uncovered, until the top is brown, about 15 minutes. Serve at once.

Note: You can substitute large lima beans for the scarlet runner beans (they will take a little less time to cook). Since lima beans are a different color than scarlet runner beans, substitute spinach pasta for the fusilli or penne in order to get a color contrast.

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 03-29-95

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