Kidney Bean, Cumin, and Beef Polpette with Torta al Testo

by eat in my kitchen

Kidney Bean, Cumin, and Beef Polpetti with Torta al Testo

I decided to fly to London for one day to meet a girl for a kitchen feature whose work I’ve been following for quite a while: Claire Ptak of the acclaimed Violet bakery. But then I started thinking about all the other inspiring people I know who also live there, so I felt tempted to meet a few more people for even more meet in your kitchen features. In the end, I met 1 baker from California, 2 kitchen chefs at the Brown’s Hotel, 1 Vogue journalist, 2 bloggers, a friend from the fashion industry plus my publisher’s team in London – all in 3 days. Now I’m back home, a little tired, but with fantastic, new kitchen features in my pocket and I can’t wait to share them with you over the next few weeks.

There was a lot to organize before my departure to make my tight schedule work, so I couldn’t spend much time on cooking, which my boyfriend happily used to take over our kitchen for a few days. One of his delicious and experimental creations was cumin polpette in a fruity tomato sauce. He used mashed kidney beans for the beef mixture, instead of the usual breadcrumbs and eggs, and kept some of the purple beans whole for the sauce. The texture of the floury legumes is perfect to loosen up the minced meat, the result is simply delicious. It was so good that we had it twice in a week, the second time with torta al testo on the side, Umbrian flatbread cooked in a cast iron pan, to stuff with the juicy cumin bean polpette and the aromatic red sauce.

Kidney Bean, Cumin, and Beef Polpetti with Torta al Testo

 

Kidney Bean, Cumin, and Beef Polpetti with Torta al Testo

Kidney Bean, Cumin, and Beef Polpette with Torta al Testo

You can find my torta al testo recipe here or you can serve the polpette with any other flatbread or ciabatta. If you want to make your own torta al testo, mind that the yeast dough has to rise twice. Once it’s well risen, the bread only needs to cook for about 3 minutes in a hot pan.

Serves 2

minced beef 400g / 14 ounces
kidney beans (tinned), rinsed and drained, 250g / 9 ounces
medium red onion, finely chopped, 1
garlic, crushed, 2 large cloves
medium fresh red chili, cut into tiny cubes, 1
fresh coriander leaves 2 large handfuls
ground cumin
fine sea salt
ground pepper
olive oil
tomatoes (tinned), 400g / 14 ounces
pinch of sugar

Using your hands or the dough hooks of an electric mixer, mix the minced meat with a handful of the beans (squeezed until mushy), 3/4 of the onion, garlic, 1/4 of the chili, a large handful of coriander leaves (not chopped), 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt and a generous amount of ground pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Wet your hands and form 4cm / 1 1/2″ meatballs, transfer the polpette to a plate.

Chop a small handful of the remaining coriander leaves and set a few whole leaves for the topping aside.

Heat a generous splash of olive oil in a large, heavy pan and cook the polpette with the remaining onions on medium-high heat for a few minutes until just light brown on all sides. Take out the meatballs and add the remaining beans (whole) to the hot pan, cook for 1 minute on high heat, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes, chopped coriander leaves, 1/4 teaspoon of cumin, sugar, salt, pepper and 1/4 of the chili. Chop the tomatoes finely and transfer the polpette back to the pan. Stir gently, close with a lid and simmer for about 3 minutes on medium-low heat.

Season the sauce to taste and sprinkle with the remaining coriander leaves and chili. Serve the meatballs with torta al testo (or flatbread) on the side or inside the bread.

Kidney Bean, Cumin, and Beef Polpetti with Torta al Testo

 

Kidney Bean, Cumin, and Beef Polpetti with Torta al Testo

 

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