Thursday, April 3

Asparagus, Pea, and Cannelloni Bean Pasta

I love creamy pasta sauces, but they're not the healthiest. Plus, they can be very rich to boot.

After watching a few cooking shows recently that featured pureed beans, I was inspired to try using them to create a thick, rich, and creamy sauce to use on pasta.

Last night I decided to see if my idea would work out as I hoped. I debated between mashing the beans and whizzing them up in the food processor with the garlic and cheese. I ended up opting for mashing, but next time I might try whizzing, just to see what the difference will be.

The good news is that the result was amazingly delicious. And, it is a good source of protein and minerals. Bonus!

It's a quick, simple recipe to put together. It also can be enjoyed without the pasta. I was originally going to add chicken but our vegetarian cousin was visiting so it got left out. You definitely could add it in, but you certainly do not need it.

Asparagus, Pea, and Cannelloni Bean Pasta

  • 8 oz. peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, diced into bite sized pieces (close in size to peas)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15.5 oz. can of cannelloni/white beans, roughly mashed with fork
  • 1 package spaghetti or linguine
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 4 TBSP butter (more or less)
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1 TBSP fresh basil (can also use dried)
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL: <a href="">oven-dried tomatoes</a>, diced to garnish
1) In saute pan, add 1 TBSP of butter and let it melt. Once melted and starting to foam, add diced onion and saute on medium or medium high heat until softened and starting to get some good brown color - about 10 minutes.
2) Heat water in pot for pasta and bring to boil. Once boiling, follow package instructions. Be sure to salt your water.
3) Add diced asparagus and peas. Stir well.
4) Add oregano, basil, pepper flakes.
5) Add mashed beans 3 TBSP of butter, stir, then add garlic.
6) Add mozzarella and Romano or Parmesan cheeses. Stir well until incorporated evenly.
7) Slowly add pasta water bit by bit to thin out bean/cheese mixture to a consistency that will coat pasta. You might not need all 1 cup of it. Do this to your preference. Just go slow. You can always add more water, but you can't take it away.
8) Add salt and pepper to taste.
9) Serve over cooked pasta or eat it by itself.

Sadly there's not plated photo for you to see because we were hungry and devoured it before I got the chance. Oops. Maybe next time I make it I'll try to remember to snap a pic.

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