Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pasta with Garlic, White beans, Tomatoes, and Zucchini

This is a quick, easy, tasty vegetarian dinner. A great summer dish - we probably have it every other week. This is adapted from a vegetarian cookbook called: "Vegetarian Classics" by Jeanne Lemlin, a book we use a lot. Note: if you do not like garlic (is that possible??) do not try this dish. Sorry, no picture. I promise my next post will have a picture!

1 pound pasta (Barrilla Plus is recommended!! :o) Penne or Rigatoni or something like that
1/3 c. olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
2 med zucchini
1 (16 oz) can diced tomatoes (petite-diced if possible)
1 (15 oz) can small white beans, like Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed well in a strainer
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. minced fresh basil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste (or the Kraft stuff is okay if you don't have the other)

Before you start, get the water boiling for the pasta. Sometimes I even start the cooking when the water is boiling, right before I add in the dry pasta. The recipe goes quickly once the chopping is done.

1. Mince garlic. (Yes, use that much garlic! Don't skimp!) Cut the washed, unpeeled zucchinis lengthwise into 4 pieces and then slice crosswise, pretty thinly. You want them to be able to cook quickly.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet til medium hot or so. (We don't use non-stick, it's not needed at all here.)
3. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, just until it barely starts to get colored.
3.5. Almost forgot - add the crushed red pepper.
4. Then add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until zucchini starts to get crisp-tender, usually about 5 minutes.
5. Add the can of diced tomatoes with their juice (I think the smaller, petite diced tomatoes work best in this recipe.)
6. Add the white beans.
7. Add salt.
8. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until a little thick (and until pasta is done cooking.) I like to mash up several of the white beans as I'm cooking this - I think it makes the sauce a little thicker.
9. Add sauce over the drained penne and mix.
10. Add basil and a small handfull of parm. cheese. (add more on the table)


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