Italy is a placed I’ve always wanted to visit. In fact, I plan to travel there someday with my husband before we’re both too old to enjoy it! One particular region of Italy has a long history of producing noted cuisines. Because of their reputation for quality food, Sicily is often referred to as “God’s Kitchen.” Some of the best recipes in the world come from this area.
This recipe is a tribute to my husband’s Italian heritage. I hope I can make the Sicilians proud with this dish. It contains many of their most-loved ingredients – garlic, tomato sauce, basil, parsley, and fennel. You might be surprised to see rice in this recipe, but, believe it or not, Italians do take a break from pasta to enjoy other foods!
Sicilian Beans and Rice
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained, slightly mashed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 cups cooked brown rice
Heat olive oil in a large skillet, and add onions. Cook until soft and translucent. Stir in garlic, and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly so garlic doesn’t burn. Add remaining ingredients, and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 30 minutes. To serve, place ½ cup rice in a bowl or on a plate, and top with ½ cup beans.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about ½ cup beans and ½ cup rice)
- Instead of brown rice, use quinoa or whole grain pasta.
- Top with sliced olives.
Calories per serving: 198