Monday, July 13, 2009

White Beans with Sage and Shells

On Friday, I stopped at the library on the way home from dropping my son off at summer camp. I walked out of there armed with at least 6 cookbooks. I spent part of the weekend pouring through each one with little pieces of torn scrap paper for my bookmarks. I decided my first recipe would be White Beans with Sage from Sarah Fritschner's Vegetarian Express Lane cookbook. I've got an abundance of sage right outside my kitchen door. This was my lunch on Sunday: tender shell noodles with a white bean sauce infused with garlic and earthy sage. It was so ridiculously easy and fast to prepare and it was absolutely delicious (recipe at the bottom of the post).

1.Don't be afraid to be generous with the Parmesan after you've ladled this in to a bowl.

2.Use FRESH sage leaves for the best flavor. I really love the taste so I nearly doubled the amount called for.

3. If you want to make this in a "meat version", I would substitute the vegetable broth with chicken stock and saute a slice or two of pancettta with the onion and garlic.

Fresh Sage is the key here:

The ingredients are so simple.

Can you see the delicate broth in the bowl?

3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 16-ounce cans of white beans with their liquid (4 cups)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 cup of water or vegetable broth
1/2 - 3/4 pound of shell pasta
Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a wide skillet over high heat and add onion and garlic. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Onion will be barely tender. Add beans with their liquid, salt, pepper, sage and broth or water. Simmer for at least 10 minutes to let the flavors blend.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add shells and cook for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well.

Put the shells in a serving bowl and add the bean mixture. Toss well and ladle in to individual serving bowls. Grind some more fresh black pepper and lots of Parmesan cheese on top. Enjoy!!