Anasazi Beans "Cassoulita"


Cassoulita is a Mexican-influenced dish braised in a chilaca or pasilla sauce.

Step one, cook the beans:

  • 1 pound dried Anasazi beans (See Bean Basics for detailed information on soaking and initial cooking.)
  • Clean and rinse the beans, then add the following ingredients:
    • 1 medium onion, halved and stuck with 4 whole cloves
    • 1 carrot, chunked up
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 5 large cloves garlic, halved
  • Bring just to a boil in a large pot with 3 quarts of water, (bottled if your tap water is high in calcium), for 2 to 5 minutes
  • Let soak for 2 to 4 hours

Step two, braise the beans:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • 1 cup minced carrot
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 recipe pasilla chili sauce below
  • 2 1/2 cup grated fresh white cheese (cotija is a good choice, but crumble it instead of grating) or Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (garnish)
  • 1 Avocado, sliced (garnish)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro sprigs (garnish)
Anasazi Beans

Prepare the beans and the pasilla sauce and set aside - this can be done ahead and frozen. When you are ready to make the dish, saute the chopped vegetables and parsley in oil over medium-high to golden, stir in chili sauce, cook for another few minutes. Stir and cook at a lively bubble about 4 minutes, or until thick. Gently stir in beans, removing the big chunks of onion with the whole cloves. Add bean liquid if needed to moisten and simmer about 15 minutes to blend flavors. Taste for seasoning.

Step three, bake the beans

Pour into a large shallow baking dish, cover with the shredded cheese, and stir in lightly. Bake 1 hour.
Before serving, garnish the dish with sour cream, avocado and fresh chopped

Pasilla Braising Sauce

  • 2 Tbs Peanut oil
  • 1 2-oz. package dried pasilla Chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 c whole blanched almonds, chopped
  • 4 c vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, quartered
  • 1/2 Onion, quartered
  • 4 Cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over high heat. Add chiles and almonds. Saute until chiles darken and almonds are golden about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chilies and almonds to bowl.

Add cumin, chili mixture, tomatoes, quartered onion, garlic, sugar, and salt to stock. Simmer until all ingredients are very soft, about 45 minutes.
Working in batches, puree stock mixture. Return to the pot and boil until reduced to 3 cups, stirring occasionally about 20 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated, or can be frozen.)