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I discovered about 4 packets of dried soya beans in our pantry and decided to pair them with chicken in this pasta sauce. As with any dried bean recipe, this recipe takes a little while to cook. Precooking the beans helps immeasurably and can be done the night before. The soya beans with the walnuts give the sauce a delicious nutty texture and flavour which balances nicely with the tender lumps of chicken. Any other vegetable that cooks down without loosing flavour can be used – although carrot would add a sweetness that may be too strong.
- 1⁄2 cup dried soya beans
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 500 g chicken fillets, cubed 1-inch
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 large button mushrooms
- 500 g tomato puree (passata de pomodoro)
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 stick celery
- 1 medium eggplant, cubed
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- salt (to season, optional for those with heart conditions)
- Soak soya beans in plenty of water for 4 hours or overnight then drain well. Put in a saucepan, cover generously with water and simmer for 2 hours.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté onion and garlic until golden. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until just cooked through.
- While chicken is cooking, sprinkle over oregano, marjoram and pepper so it is cooked into the chicken.
- Add mushrooms and cook until just soft.
- Add tomato puree and sauce, stirring to mix through. Bring to the boil.
- Add celery, eggplant and drained cooked soya beans – thoroughly stir through.
- Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until eggplant is cooked through.
- Just prior to serving, mix in chopped walnuts and serve with pasta.