The Romanian translation would be Zacusca de fasole. You see my family – hubby and boogie – don’t like aubergines so even if traditionally this spread is made with them I thought I should give it a try to the beans one.
Well my idea came last weekend when we visited our dear Romanian friends for New Year. My friend Ioana had a jar of shop bought zacusca and I loved it! I think I end up eating the whole thing myself.
So…I decided to google the recipe and give it a try and cook it.
All the Romanian blog sites are full of ideas and different ingredients for this particular zacusca.
I analyse all of them and decided to use my own. I guess you will use as many tomatoes or beans as you wish.
For this recipe you will need:
The quantities used are not mentioned because I didn’t really measured…..sorry…
If you use lose white beans then you will need to soak them over night. I used a bag I bought from Sainsbury’s – I think it weigh 500 gr. I put them all to soak last night and today I rinse them and put to boil with water in a pan.
In the meantime I prepared the rest of the ingredients.
I peeled and chopped 3 big white onions. Make sure you peel them very finely. When all chopped put them to fry in a pan with hot oil. Use a reasonable big pan as you will need to add the rest on the ingredients on top. Fry on a low heat until they become soft. I used about 100 ml of oil as it is needed.
When onions are soft and clear add the red pepper. I used 3 small red peppers. Cut them small so that they can soften faster.
You will need to leave the onions and peppers to fry for quite a while. Make sure they are all quite soft.
When all done add a tin of chopped tomatoes. Of course you can use fresh tomatoes but they will get more time to soften. Boil together for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime if the beans are all boiled – get rid of the water and use a blender or the potato smasher to make the beans like paste. I like them kind of smashed only so I used the potato thingy. Anyway keep some of the water in which the beans boiled on the side as you might need to add to your boil.
Put the mashed beans on top of the the onion , pepper and tomatoes. Use a wooden spoon to mix all. If you find necessary add a bit of the saved boiled water.
Add the tomato paste. This depends on how tomate you would like it to be. I put the liquid one that you can find to buy I a bottle and I put about half of it. Mix all the ingredients together and then add the salt, pepper, bay leaf and garlic.
Leave it all to boil until you think the consistency is the one you want. It is usually served on bread so it should be quite thick.
This can be stored in the fridge or If you make more in sterilised jars.
For exact quantities use the below:
1 kg beans
1 kg onions
1 kg red peppers
1 jar of tomato paste
1 l oil
See below pictures with my take on it: