Hillbilly Stew (beans And noodles)
- 1 lb. of dried pinto beans
- 1 lb. box of rigatoni
- 1 ham hock
- 1 stick of butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- The night before you make this dish, soak your pinto beans overnight in just enough water to cover them (if you forget to soak them, use the quick soak method on the package directions). Rinse your beans and place them in a large pot with 8 cups of water, a stick of butter, and the ham hock. Bring the water to a boil. Once your pot is boiling reduce heat to just low enough to keep a gentle boil going. Boil beans for 2 to 4 hours until they are soft, stirring occasionally (if water level gets low during cooking, add additional water as needed to keep beans covered). Add salt and pepper to taste. Once beans are done, boil rigatoni in a separate pot according to package directions until pasta is al dente. Add one cup of pasta water to bean pot. Drain rigatoni and add pasta to bean pot and cook until pasta is very tender. You want the pasta to finish cooking with the beans so it can absorb all the yummy flavor.
My mom made this all the time when I was a kid because you could feed an entire family on pennies. I never appreciated how good and inexpensive it was until I had a family of my own. I can make this dish for less than two bucks and my family of four eats for two days. It's actually my kid's favorite meal.