Pasta with Two Beans and Escarole

escarole

Pasta, beans and greens is a classic trio in Italian cookery. It’s easy to see why—the combination is healthful and hearty. Escarole is a sturdy green whose slight bitterness is tempered by cooking. You’ll find it near the lettuces in the produce section. If you’d like, you can substitute an equal amount of curly chicory, or a medium-sized bunch of Swiss chard. 

Serves: 6

  • 12 ounces fusilli or rotini
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-cured)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large head escarole, well washed, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
  • 1 cup canned cannellini (large white beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned pink or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.

Meanwhile, combine the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl with 1/2 cup hot water. Let soak until needed.

Heat about half of the oil in a large wide skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until golden, then add the escarole and cover. Steam with only the water clinging to the leaves until wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Add the beans to the skillet along with the water used to soak the dried tomatoes. Cut the dried tomatoes into narrow strips and add them as well. cook just until everything is well heated through.

Combine the cooked pasta with the skillet mixture in a large serving bowl. Add the remaining olive oil and toss together. Serve at once.

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