Monday, February 21, 2011

White Bean and Spinach Pasta

I've been looking for pasta dishes that don't require tomato-based sauces since the Princess doesn't care for tomato sauce. She likes to eat her pasta plain. That's right - no sauce, no butter. She will let me sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on her pasta now and then, but she prefers nothing.

She really liked the Greek Chicken Pasta recipe I found, so I was inspired to try another non-tomato dish with this recipe from the Tasty Kitchen. I tweaked it a bit because I thought the amount of lemon juice was a little much for my kids. It turned out wonderfully and reminded me of spring. And the Princess ate it! And liked it! Another win!

Here's what you'll need:
8 oz uncooked pasta
1 TBSP olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced (equals about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
the zest and juice of one lemon
salt to taste
dash of cayenne pepper

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving one cup of the cooking water. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until it really starts smelling good. Add the chopped pepper and cook until soft.

Add the cooked pasta, beans, and spinach. Stir gently until all the spinach is wilted. Now, the next time I prepare this, I'm going to add only the spinach at this time. After it's wilted, I'll add the pasta and beans. It will just make it easier to stir since the skillet was so full.

Now stir in remaining ingredients. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little of the reserved cooking water.

The tang from the lemon really made this dish. It was so fresh-tasting! The beans added a nice, smooth texture, too. This will be showing up on our menu often.

For more yummy recipes, visit Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at Blessed with Grace.

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