Greens, Beans and Pasta – Aglio e Olio style

January 15, 2008

Greens, Beans and Pasta – Aglio e Olio style

Paula Redinger, Tucson CSA

I’ve always found the traditional Italian aglio e olio pasta
(garlic and olive oil) disappointing until I stopped
following a recipe and did it my own way, using raw
garlic. For me, the key is lots of garlic and lots of pepper
flakes. I’ve adapted my recipe to make a more substantial
meal adding greens and cannelloni beans. If you don’t like
the punch of raw garlic, feel free to sauté it with the olive
oil and greens. I use a smaller amount of pasta than is
traditional. Double the amount of pasta for a more
traditional balance of sauce to pasta. You could substitute
the pasta with cooked wheat berries as well. Aglio e olio
is traditionally made with spaghetti or thin spaghetti, but in
this case I think short pasta shapes work better.

Per serving:

2 ounces short pasta shapes (such as penne)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil – this is the time to use the good stuff!
1-2 cloves crushed garlic – take the time to really mash it well
hot pepper flakes
1 bag CSA greens – washed and shredded
½ 15-oz can cannelloni beans
a splash of broth – optional
parmesan cheese

Combine the olive oil, crushed garlic and hot pepper
flakes. You will have to decide how much you like. I
usually do this right in my serving dish.

Cook pasta to al dente in heavily salted boiling water.
Drain, while retaining pasta in the pot. While pasta
is still hot, wilt the greens in the water clinging to them
and add a teaspoon or so of olive oil.

Add a splash of broth if you like, cover and cook for a few
minutes. Add the beans and cook briefly until all is
combined and hot. Add the cooked pasta and heat for a
few seconds.

Take some time to mix everything
thoroughly, since the greens tend to “clump together.”
Toss with olive oil mixture and lots of parmesan.

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