Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Farfallini with White Beans

This pasta has evolved over the last couple of months, and it makes a really good meatless main dish.  

2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans
1 pound farfalline pasta (farfalline is a little bow-tie shaped pasta)
2 large onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 pound hard salami, diced
2 TB fresh basil or 1/2 tsp dried basil - or to taste
1 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread diced tomatoes in a single layer on a sheet cake pan and roast in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes.  Tomatoes will dry out slightly and juices will begin to carmelize.
  2. Drain beans into a large colander and rinse with cold water.  Leave the beans in the colander.
  3. Saute onions in 1/4 cup olive oil until translucent.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add garlic to the pan and continue to saute until onions are just starting to brown and garlic is fragrant.
  4. Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions.  When pasta is done, dip out 1 1/2 cups of the water pasta cooked in and reserve.  (I use a large mug or a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup.)  Pour pasta and remaining cooking water over the beans in the colander to drain the pasta - the hot pasta will heat the beans.  Return the pasta and beans to the pasta pot.  Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and stir gently.
  5. Add onions, sun dried tomatoes, salami, roasted tomatoes, and fresh basil to the pasta.  If mixture seems dry, add some of the reserved pasta water and stir.  (The longer the dish sits, the more pasta water it will absorb.  I usually end up adding almost all of the reserved pasta water.)
  6. If you are not going to serve the pasta immediately, cover the pot and place in a 300 degree oven to keep warm.
  7. Just before serving, fold in the baby spinach, adjust seasonings, and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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