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Since it's hard to know the age of your beans, it's best to cook them before you start adding sauce ingredients. My approach is: soak them about 20 hours. Depending on how much water they soak up you may add more halfway through - if you set them soaking in the early evening, check them in the morning drain, rinse, and then boil for about two hours, ...


This is most likely because the dehydrated beans you are using are old. It seems to be a growing problem to find fresh dehydrated beans in the US. This would happen to my family all the time when we used to make slow cooked Red Beans and Rice. I thought it just needed to be either soaked or cooked longer.


Different brands of pasta could result in different textures. Have you tried to determine the store brand...or experimented with different brands? Ingredients might be the same...but quality, manufacturing and drying varies, influencing the end result.


Expanded from the comments... Use properly salted water when cooking the pasta. Slightly undercook the pasta a little bit; the pasta will continue to cook as you prepare the salad. Do not rinse the pasta. Mix the ingredients while the pasta are hot; they will absorb more flavour; I would try to season the pasta before adding oil; since oil will tend to ...

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