Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chuckwagon Pinto Burger on a Biscuit Bun with Angel Hair Pasta Salad with Pepperoncini and Crispy Prosciutto

Aimee's recipe is submitted for the Chopped Challenge Round Two Main Dish Basket including the following items:

Theme: Italian Chuckwagon
Cowboy Style Pinto Beans
Angel Hair Pasta
BONUS ITEM: Peperoncini Sotto Aceto

So with this Chopped Basket, I knew exactly what I was going to do with the beans. Make a bean burger. A few years ago, when I first started making Bento lunches for my husband, I started experimenting with beans and making burgers with them. No, it’s not the same as a hamburger, nor is it the same as a veggie burger but it’s still a great source of protein AND you can stuff it full of great vegetables. I decided to use the biscuit as my bun and make pasta salad with the pasta and add some crispy finely diced vegetables, including the peppers and the prosciutto. I used the same vegetables in the pasta salad as I did to fill the bean burgerso all the flavors were tied together. It was pretty good!

One quick note: I didn’t make the biscuits. I wanted as few carbs around the house as possible and since I’m not much of a baker anyway and the biscuits I have made in the past invariably turned into hockey pucks, I decided to forego the homemade and opt for canned. I did, however, use dried beans.

Chuckwagon Pinto Burger on a Biscuit Bun with Angel HairPasta Salad with Pepperoncini and Crispy Prosciutto
by Aimee Michard

1 can biscuits (5 count)
1 16-ounce bag of pinto beans
1 cup diced celery, divided
1 cup diced carrots, divided
1 cup diced red pepper, divided
1 cup diced red onion, divide
½ cup diced pepperoncini, divided
1 cup Diced Proscuitto
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
5 Tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Dried or fresh herbs of your choice
½ pound Angel Hair pasta
Condiments for burger (lettuce, tomato, etc.)

Start by soaking the beans overnight, per instructions. You can always do a quick soak if you forget but I prefer to soak overnight. Drain the beans the next day and fill a large pot with water or broth, add the beans and cook over medium heat for 2-3 hours. You may want to add more liquid if it gets absorbed before the beans are soft. You may also add rough chopped vegetables (onion, carrots, celery, etc) to the liquid for flavor. Drain the beans when they are soft and mash with a potato masher. They don’t have to be completely mashed but you don’t want many whole beans left. Set aside.

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, drain and set aside. Whisk 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the vinegar, salt, pepper, and any herbs of your choice. Pour this dressing over the pasta and add ½ cup of each diced vegetables. Saute the prosciutto over medium-high heat until crispy and add to the pasta salad. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Saute the remaining vegetables in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable mixture to the beans and season with salt and pepper. Make the burgers as you would with ground beef. The mixture is thick enough to hold together. Set aside.

Bake the biscuits in accordance with the package instructions. Cut the biscuits in half after they are cooled.

In a large skillet or grill pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and cook the bean burgers over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side. Remove from the heat. Fill each biscuit “bun” with a bean burger and add condiments of your choice. Serve with the pasta salad.

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