Friday, March 28, 2008

Whole wheat pasta with greens and beans

This recipe makes enough to feed 457 people. O.K. maybe not that many, but it makes way more food then you would think for only 3/4 lb of pasta. Today I thought this was pretty good. I thought it was really good when I made it before. My opinions change I guess. I like more stuff in the stuff to pasta ratio. So, next time I'll try only making 1/2 of the box of pasta. I recommend making this with kale. I think kale is awesome. Buy the green kale, they have it at Central Market and I've seen it recently at Dan's Supervalue. I haven't tried the ornamental (purple) kale. I don't trust that anything grown to be ornamental could taste good. This is a good dish for vegetarians. It is a complete protein with the beans and the whole wheat pasta. Plus you get iron from the kale. This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen. I agree them, Ronzoni makes good whole wheat pasta.


Serves 4-6

If you don’t use 13.25 oz Ronzoni (brand of whole wheat pasta they recommend) use 3/4 lb of a whole wheat pasta.


3 T olive oil

8 garlic cloves, 5 cloves sliced thin lengthwise, 3 cloves minced or pressed through a garlic press (1 Tablespoon)


1 medium onion, diced small (about 1 cup)

½ tsp hot red pepper flakes

14 c loosely packed kale or collard greens (1 to 1 ½ lbs), thick stems trimmed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces and rinsed, water still clinging to leaves (I use 2 bunches)

1 ½ c low-sodium chicken broth (about 1 can)

1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes, drained

1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

3/4 c pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

13 1/4 oz whole wheat spaghetti

2 oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup), plus additional for serving

ground black pepper

1. Heat oil and sliced garlic in 12-inch straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring and turning frequently, until light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

2. Add onion to pan; cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring constantly until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Add half of the greens to pan; using tongs, toss occasionally, until starting to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add remaining greens, broth, tomatoes, and 3/4 tsp salt; cover (pan will be full); increase heat to high and bring to strong simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, tossing occasionally, until greens are tender, about 15 minutes (mixture will be somewhat soupy). Stir in beans and olives.

4. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Add spaghetti and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until pasta is just shy of al dente. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add greens mixture to pasta, set over medium-high heat, and toss to combine. Cook until pasta absorbs most of liquid, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup Parmesan; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, passing garlic chips, extra-virgin olive oil, and Parmesan separately.

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