September 28, 2010

Pasta, Beans and Greens

This is such a fast, easy recipe, and the beauty of it all is that you can add whatever your little heart desires! I've kept this version pretty basic, but in the past have added cubed potatoes, cherry tomatoes, mini turkey meatballs, and even diced pancetta.

Pasta and Greens
makes 6-8 cups

2 cans cannelli beans, rinsed/drained
(or you can use 2 cups of fresh beans, soaked if needed)
1 lb. organic baby spinach leaves, rinsed
1 and 1/2 cups organic chicken broth
1/2 cup of water
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, sliced
sea salt/cracked pepper
olive oil
shredded parmesan cheese (for topping)

Prepare your vegetables and set aside. In a deep skillet pan, saute the onions and garlic until soft.
Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside. Pour in 1 cup of broth, and add 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil.
Add the beans to the broth, and simmer until tender. (If using canned beans, you'll want to cook them for about 5 minutes. I used uncooked cranberry beans and simmered them for 15-20 minutes).
When the beans are tender, add the garlic and onions back into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Now you're going to cook down your pound of spinach. It always amazes me that you can have this gigantic bunch of spinach, and it will size down to about a half a cup.

Place the spinach right on top of the onion mix, and soon it will begin to wilt....

And slowly look like this...(remember the witch in the Wizard of Oz when she was melting?  It reminds me of this)...

Finally, with gentle stirring and prodding, you end up with something like this.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth and gently stir, simmering for another 5 minutes. At this point, you can add cooked pasta or extra veggies. I just sprinkled mine with a little shredded parmesan and enjoyed it all on its own.  Yum!


Anonymous said...

never thought of adding meatballs ---or using spinach ---i used escarole! i'll have to try it (Mela)

greengirl said...

I made this last night, Karen, and added some Barilla cut spaghetti. It was terrific! My dad would have loved it; he was a beans and greens fan.