[Samal Island, Davao Gulf, Philippines; N 07° 12 / W 125° 43]
We spent many months at Holiday Oceanview Marina on Samal Island in the Davao Gulf of Mindanao, Philippines. Every week on Friday night, marina residents had a potluck supper. Because we were so busy working on Carina, Friday afternoon often found us scurrying to make a dish to bring. This dish was created on one such afternoon. This vegan dish is quick, healthy and very tasty; there were never any leftovers!
1 large or 2 small red onion (or white if red unavailable), chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
~ 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
~1 Tbsp. dried basil
~1 tsp. dried pepper flakes
sea salt and black pepper to taste*
~3/4 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
1 can beans (or freshly cooked equivalent**), drained
~1 lb. salad pasta - e.g., elbow macaroni
* only use salt if NOT using fermented beans
**salty Chinese fermented black beans were a favorite, but kidney beans or unfermented black beans work well too.
Add olive oil, onion, basil and pepper flakes to large sauce pan. Cook until onion is translucent and then add garlic and cook only until garlic is soft. Onions can be browned and carmelized if you wish. Add red pepper and cook a minute or two more - it is important if using fresh local peppers to avoid cooking them too long so their skin stays soft and does not harden or curl. Turn off heat and cover.
Cook pasta to al dente, drain and add to a serving bowl. Immediately add beans and onion/pepper mixture and toss. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Serve or cover and serve later. Do not refrigerate.