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What to Cook and How to Cook It!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

greens and beans

This recipe is based on one that originally appeared in Gourmet magazine in April of 2007. It is incredibly simple and absolutely delicious. Plus, with the exception of one ingredient, you can pretty much make it from ingredients you probably have on hand in your pantry.

Caramelizing the onions gives this recipe an amazing depth of flavor. Don't rush that step.

Tuscan Greens and Beans
1/4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
1 pound kale (washed, patted dry)
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 pound dried short pasta (like penne)
Optional accompaniments: toasted bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a heavy skillet (I use cast iron) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, stirring for one minute. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and increase heat to medium, stirring frequently, until onion is golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

Cut out and discard stems and center ribs from kale. Chop into large pieces. Working in two batches, cook kale in boiling salted water, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about five minutes. Remove kale from pot with a slotted spoon (draining water) and place in the pot with the caramelized onions. Stir kale into onions. Add beans.

Add pasta to kale cooking liquid and cook according to directions on package. Reserve one cup of the pasta water, then drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta water to kale mixture and stir. Continue to cook over medium heat 5-10 minutes, adding pasta water if the dish becomes dry.

Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Top with toasted breadcrumbs and/or Parmesan cheese, if desired.

- Vegetarian
- Use brown rice pasta to make it gluten-free

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