Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Adding to the bean arsenal


I may have mentioned before how I like beans. Bring on the yummy, cheap protein! I have been eating beans now more than ever since this pregnancy has left me with a decreased desire to eat meat (blech!) except in really small portions. (Isn't that the way it is supposed to be eaten?) We tried a new recipe last night which pleased Mr. F. and I. Bonus: it was super quick and easy. Normally, we don't have time to fix dinner on Tuesday nights, but this came together in a snap. Plus it had arugula in it. I love arugula. Not only does it have a lovely taste, I can feel very virtuous in knowing that I am eating well and receiving the much coveted vitamins associated with leafy greens. (Note: arugula all by itself is pretty much impossible to find out here at the edge of nowhere. I mean, we found it, but it didn't come cheap. I imagine that you will not have similar issues--can anyone live in a more vegetable impoverished area than I? I doubt it.)

Garlicky Spaghetti with Beans and Greens

Ingredients

8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (we used a dash of cayenne instead)
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
5 ounces arugula leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Place pasta in a small bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, tossing gently. Set aside, and keep warm.

2. Return pan to medium heat. Add oil, garlic, and pepper; cook 2 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, tomatoes, and beans; cook 2 minutes. Add pasta; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add reserved pasta water and arugula, tossing gently to combine. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and cheese. Serve immediately.

Notes:

--If you don't like your tomatoes cooked (Mr. F. would fall into this category), consider adding them at the end.
--If you want your arugula to be non-wilted like it is shown in the misleading photo accompanying this recipe, consider adding it at the end too.
--This recipe has a much stronger lemon flavor than garlic flavor. You might want to play around with those two ingredient amounts to suite your own flavor preferences.

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