Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pasta, beans and greens

As I mentioned earlier, last Sunday was National Pasta Day so I made a meatless sort of soupy dinner that was packed full of greens. You can make this ahead of time except for the pasta and put it all together when you're ready to eat.

1/4 cup olive oil
3 - 4 minced garlic cloves
1 - 2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 bunch kale, hard stems removed
1 10 oz. bag baby spinach leaves
1 14-16 oz. can cannellini beans
8 oz. small pasta
chicken or vegetable broth or clam juice for cooking the pasta and for sauteing the greens
parmesan cheese
1 small diced tomato and a few fresh spinach leaves for garnish (optional)

In a large saute pan cook the garlic and crushed pepper in the olive oil over low heat for a few minutes.
Add the kale and stir it in the pan until it starts to wilt.  Add the spinach and one cup of broth and continue to cook for about 3 or 4 minutes.
Stir in the beans (with the juice)
Cook the pasta in broth and reserve the broth after cooking
Add the pasta to the greens and enough broth to create a slightly soupy mixture.
Season with salt and pepper and parmesan cheese
Garnish each serving with the tomato and spinach leaves if desired

Feel free to use any combination of greens that you like.  Collards and mustard greens will give you a slightly bitter taste ( and may need to cook a little longer). I also like escarole in this.

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