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Whatever’s in the Pantry Pasta, or Cannellini Broccolini Pasta

January 12, 2007

Cannellini Broccolini Pasta

It has been a bit of a rough week for the kitchen. Around about Tuesday I realized that I was completely broke, AND had a nearly bare pantry. And the combination of winter, evening darkness, and a job I don’t exactly love put me in the mood to do nothing much but sit on the couch, reading Harry Potter and drinking hot toddies. But tonight I knew I would have to figure out the sustenance question eventually, and cobble together some kind of meal from the random remnants on hand.

I actually love this kind of ramshackle cooking. I’ve devised some pretty interesting meals based solely on what was at hand. I’ve also experienced some dinner disasters, but we dont’ need to speak of those. I will just say, stay away from any beet-garbanzo-spaghetti-feta combinations.

So what was in the pantry tonight? I still have those anchovies. In fact I’m beginning to suspect that they are reproducing, alone at night in the refrigerator, because it doesn’t appear I ever have fewer anchovies. I have a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of cannellini beans. I have some slightly bedgraggled looking broccolini, and I think, yes, that this might make a meal. Of some sort.

Cannellini Broccolini Pasta

  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 glove of garlic, minced
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (I used the kind of italian seasoning)
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • a small bunch of broccolini, ends trimmed and leaves removed
  • a little pinch of marjoram
  • a small splash of red wine vinegar
  • about 2. cups gemilli pasta
  • salt and pepper

Set a large pot of salted water on to boil. Heat the olive oil in a medium-large skillet, and add the shallots and garlic. Cook these up until they’re slightly golden, and add the anchovy. Break the anchovy up with the back of a spoon, and let it all cook for about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, with their juices, and the drained and rinsed beans. Stir it all together, and then add maybe a dash of marjoram (or oregano, or maybe some tarragon, or red pepper flakes, whatever you feel like or have on hand. I contemplated a bit of coriander, and am now thinking it would probably have been tasty).

Once the water is boiling, blanch the broccolini for a minute or so, and add it to the tomato-bean mixture in the skillet. Again, stir it all together, and then just let it cook away, while you cook the pasta in the water. Add perhaps a splash of vinegar (or maybe some red wine), and let it cook down while the pasta cooks. Break up some of the beans with the back of a spoon, so the sauce gets kind of thick and bean-y.

Once the pasta is done, drain it, or use a skimmer thing to remove it from the water, or whatever your preferred method for pasta is, and add it to the sauce. Stir it all around, and marvel at your ability to create an interesting meal without a trip to the market.

This ended up being even better than I would have thought. The beans add a buttery, earthy flavor the balances the sweetness of the potatoes very well, and the small amount of anchovy lends an almost indistinguishable oceany saltiness. I wish I’d had a bit more broccolini, but alas, that would have required a trip to the market, thus entirely defeating the purpose. Fresh basil in the summer would probably be a great addition, and I’m sure it would be interesting with some asparagus or zucchini instead of broccolini.

I have, however, completely stripped my pantry bare, which I suppose means that a trip to the market is inevitable. Sigh.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 12, 2007 5:40 pm

    Sounds entirely like my kind of dinner, and it sounds wonderful!

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