Cannellini Bean Pasta

I felt incredibly inspired to cook and photograph today.  Even with the fleeting promise of spring buried under yet another snowfall, and the illusion that I am on top of my work confronted with the reality of finals week, there was so much gentle, beautiful sunlight this afternoon.  I couldn't wait to be barefoot in the living room, styling my food, taking pictures.  As I walked home, splashing through slush and bowing under branches laden with snow, the light streamed through the trees and warmed my face, lifted like a sunflower toward the sky.   

I set my groceries on the counter and went to work, fixing dinner.  I felt the weight of the chef's knife in my hand and the warm, tomato-infused steam against my face.  There was nothing else, just me and my hands and my meal coming to life in the late sun.  

The tall windows in our living room captured the soft edges of the afternoon light and scattered them across the floor, across the tables and chairs, across my arms and hands.  My world was still and quiet, and bright.  I was so at peace. 

Cannellini Bean Pasta

1 pound pasta (I used the gemelli shape, but it doesn't really matter)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, sliced in half moons
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Palmful of capers
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
~1 c ground tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
~1/2 c water
1 bunch beet greens and stems, washed and sliced
Shaved parmesan cheese, to taste

Put a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add in the sliced onion with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 5-10 minutes until softened and beginning to caramelize.  Toss in the beans and capers, cooking for ~2 minutes until they've begun to incorporate with the soft onion, then add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and water.  Simmer until the sauce has begun to thicken and reduce, and the onions are beginning to melt.

Once the water has come to a boil and you've begun to cook the pasta, fold the beet greens and stems into the tomato mixture.  Stir frequently to wilt down the greens and incorporate them into the sauce.  With the pasta cooked and drained, add it back into the hot pot and cover with the bean mixture.  Serve with shards of parmesan cheese (unless you want this to be vegan or are not keen on cheese).  

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