Last weekend, I took my daughter and her friend with me to the country to close up our cottage for the winter. It was to be a quick overnight trip, and so I brought few provisions – just some half and half for our coffee- figuring I would use the opportunity to clean out the food cabinets and freezer before shutting the place up till May.
For dinner Saturday night, I actually created my own litle recipe out of what I found in the cabinets and freezer. Served after a first course of thawed mushroom barley soup and with reheated bread, this pasta was actually quite delicious.
It really is true what they say..necessity is the mother of invention.
Penne with Cannellini, Herbs and Garlic
The key to this dish is lots of sliced garlic, cut thin and cooked in olive oil with lots of herbs.
1 lb Penne pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
6 or more garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 can cannellini white beans, barely drained and not rinsed
1/4 cup pesto
1 tbsp dried herbs de provence
1 tsp dried oregano
fresh cracked pepper
salt to taste
Parmegiano Reggiano cheese, grated (optional)
Start your salted water boiling for the pasta. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large saute pan over medium high heat till hot. Add garlic and saute, tossing till it is yellowed and almost browned, but still soft. (The goal is to cook the garlic and flavor the oil, so you may need to turn the heat down so it doesn’t brown too much)
Add in the basil, pepper and spices about half way through to flavor the oil even more.
Add in the beans and cook till heated through, being careful not to stir too much or break up the beans. Just a tiny bit of kosher salt to taste.
Cook the pasta. Drain lightly and carefully toss into the beans. Serve immediately topped with grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese.