tonight we surrender the kitchen to a second-year medical student and friend, patrick. in his own words:
on a particularly chilly day in early September, this dish felt appropriate, for its warm flavors, harvest colors, and rustic presentation (served from skillet!). Wardah’s table setting complemented the dish, and the fall theme.
the New Haven Special is comfort food. cumin, thyme and black pepper, provide spice that moderates the sweetness of caramelized onion and carrot. salty feta encourages both the sweetness and the spice. pasta and beans provide grounding familiarity, of both taste and texture.
the name ‘New Haven Special’ reflects the location where this dish was first made, and the simplicity of the dish itself. the name also reflects the practicality, or functionality, that is sometimes required of medical students. the total cost of ingredients can be limited to less than $3, and it can easily feed a family. it is a complete meal. it is a hearty meal. it is inexpensive, it is simple, but it is not lacking.
thanks is deserved, that on a cool evening at the cusp of summer and autumn, Wardah, Sue, and Patrick, shared the warmth and comfort, of simple food, and easy conversation.
a small amount of dried pasta (two handfuls rotini, or radiatore, or fusilli, etc.).
4-5 diced carrots
2-3 diced onions
1-2 cups whole cooked beans,kidney, pinto, cannelini, etc. (canned, or from dried)
cooking oil to coat the bottom of a skillet
cumin, thyme, and black pepper, to taste
a large handful (or two) of crumbled feta
cook pasta. drain and set aside.
sautee diced carrots and diced onions in oil until caramelized, about 10 minutes. add cumin, black pepper, and thyme, as the vegetables near doneness. add whole beans to the sautee. add cooked pasta to the sautee. remove from heat. top with crumbled feta. stir once or twice to combine. serve.