This rich pasta in broth with beans is spiked with garlic and slow-cooked ribs and lemongrass. Develop a flavorful base by allowing it so simmer for several hours.
By Jehanne Ali
If you live in Malaysia or Far East for that matter, then you would be so familiar with all sorts of noodles we enjoy here, simmered in broth, for hours or days, eaten for supper or even breakfast! We would use all kind of noodles- yellow egg noodles for thick hearty meal, vermicelli rice for an easy-going breakfast, wanton mee for the the unique earthy claypot dish for one, and wait, even Italian pastas are added in our broth flavoured with Asian spices. When I added macaroni into my bowl of soup during uni days, some friends really gave me an odd look, ‘are you out of your mind, pasta in soup?’ But old habits die hard. Not only do I refuse to conform, but I still combine my pasta al dente with the soup of the day, this time it is a gorgeous blend of haricot beans and beef ribs broth. Haricot beans, also known as cannellini beans give the garlicky texture to the broth which complements really well with the ribs, cooked slowly along with galangal, lemongrass, ginger and coriander. I have then added some spaghetti to complete the meal, but of course the soup goes well on its own too, or with garlic bread or unleavened bread of your choice.
My only one tip, simmer the soup at least few hours or even the day before you want to have it as meal, so a little bit of planning is recommended. The flavours are complex and mature as the soup ages. Also do not skip too much on the spices unless if you really cannot find them, like galangal I assume will be quite a rare find in most European markets.
- 250g spaghetti
- 500g beef ribs
- 200g dried haricot beans ( soak overnight )
- 400g canned tomatoes ( or 4 large tomatoes diced )
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 inch galangal, minced
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- 2 large red onion, finely sliced
- 1 red chilli, chopped
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- a small bunch of coriander leaves
- 1 lemongrass stalk
- few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, tarragon and basil
- salt to season
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot.
- Saute the onion, chilli, garlic, ginger and galangal until fragrant.
- Add in the tomatoes along with coriander powder, cumin, black pepper and lemongrass, with splash of water.
- Once the spices are fragrant, add the haricot beans, fresh herbs, coriander leaves and beef ribs.
- Add 4 cups of water and simmer on low- medium heat until beef pieces are very tender.
- Season with salt.
- Serve the broth in a bowl with pasta, or fresh breads.