Three-bean and ham stir-fry

Three-bean and ham stir-fry


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About this recipe: If you've never before thought of using pulses in a stir-fry, here's a satisfying recipe to try. It combines 2 different kinds of canned beans with fresh green beans for contrast, plus strips of ham, onions and a creamy mustard sauce with a hint of lemon to add to the flavours. Tossed with pasta, this is a great meal made in one pot.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 4 

  • 250 g (8½ oz) macaroni
  • 170 g (6 oz) fine green beans, cut in half
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 15 g (½ oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch large spring onions, about 300 g (10½ oz) in total, sliced
  • 2 tbsp crème frache
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 225 g (8 oz) thickly sliced cooked ham or smoked pork loin, trimmed of all fat and cut into fine strips
  • 1 can red kidney beans, about 410 g, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can cannellini beans, about 410 g, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

Prep:25min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:45min 

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Add the green beans for the last 3 minutes of the cooking time. Drain well.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick frying pan or wok until the butter starts to sizzle. Add the spring onions and cook for 3–4 minutes over a moderate heat, turning frequently, until softened.
  3. Blend together the crème frache, mustard and lemon zest, and add to the pan or wok. Stir in the ham or pork and the canned kidney and cannellini beans. Cook gently for 2–3 minutes, stirring frequently, until piping hot.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pasta and green beans, and stir to mix. Sprinkle over the parsley and serve.

Some more ideas

For a vegetarian version, replace the ham or pork with a 225 g (8 oz) packet of smoked tofu, cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes. * Make a smoked turkey, apple and bean saut. Core and thickly slice 2 dessert apples. Cook in 15 g (½ oz) butter in a non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat for 3–4 minutes, turning once, until golden on both sides and just tender. Remove and set aside. Put 1 can borlotti beans, about 410 g, and 1 can flageolet beans, about 410 g, both drained and rinsed, in the pan. Add 225 g (8 oz) thickly sliced smoked turkey, cut into fine strips, 3 tbsp apple juice and 2 tsp maple syrup. Heat through gently for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then return the apples to the pan together with 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage. Season to taste. Heat for a further minute. Serve with crusty French bread.

Plus points

Pulses such as red kidney and cannellini beans have a low GI (Glycaemic Index) factor, which means they release energy slowly into the bloodstream and so can help to control hunger and appetite. * Like all onions, spring onions contain some vitamin C and B vitamins. * Green beans are a good source of dietary fibre and contain valuable amounts of folate.

Each serving provides

A, B1, C, folate, niacin, copper, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc * B2, B6, calcium

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