Sometimes after a long day , all you want is some speedy, comforting pasta. Something not too complicated, made with store cupboard ingredients and maybe a bit of green to perk it up. Something with a creamy texture but not heavy or gloopy and with plenty of flavour.
This pasta delivers all of these wishes. The white beans & greens cook into a lush garlicky sauce whilst the pasta is cooking making this an easy after work dinner. The last time I made this I used tinned butterbeans, but cannellini beans work equally as well here, the point is for the beans to soften and slightly disintegrate to form the pasta sauce. You could probably use chickpeas too, but the outcome won’t be as creamy. If you’re really organised, you could take this to another level with dried beans you’ve pre-prepared & cooked ahead. The point of this dish is speediness however so I’d only suggest this if you had already some pre-done.
Don’t be alarmed at the quantity of garlic stipulated in this recipe!
Once it’s softened & cooked in with the beans, it becomes quite sweet & mellow. I like making this with white wine, but if you don’t have any to hand, add either a tablespoon of mirin (Japanese cooking wine) or a little extra water. The greens can be any number of varieties. Kale works well, as does a crinkly savoy cabbage. Cavolo Nero- the Italian kale would be really authentic here too, but you could probably also use some broccolini too.
The one thing you can’t not add in is the rosemary. It adds a fragrant green, slightly oily woodiness that is outstanding with the beans. I use fresh, but by all means use dried if that’s all you have. You might need to add a little extra as the essential oils that make it so delicious will have been mostly lost in the drying process.
This is delicious with a sprinkle of crunchy herby toasted breadcrumbs to offset the creamy texture.
- 250g pasta, I like to use penne
- 1 tin white beans, rinsed.
- 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small white onion or large banana shallot, finely diced
- 1/2 cup white wine (or 1 Tbs mirin & 1/3 cup water)
- 1 tsp Marigold Stock Powder (or other vegetable stock/bouillion powder)
- Half a small green cabbage chopped OR 1 big handful of kale, chopped
- 2 tbs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Put the pasta water on to boil.
- Meanwhile in a skillet or large frying pan gently fry the garlic & onions.
- Add in the beans, rosemary, wine (or mirin & water) plus the marigold stock powder & simmer for a few minutes, squishing the beans a bit with a fork to release a bit of their creamy starch.
- Add the pasta to the pasta water.
- Add the greens into the beans, mix around & clamp a lid of some type over the lot & let it all steam to wilt the greens.
- Once the pasta is cooked al dente, reserve a little of the cooking water, then drain. Mix in with the beans & greens, adding a little of the reserved water if it looks a little dry.
- Serve in bowls with crunchy, spicy, herby breadcrumbs