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Pasta e Fagioli with Pesto

Pesto adds robust flavor to this one-dish pasta supper. Use fresh, locally grown ingredients for the tastiest and healthiest fare. Plus, you can make the dish gluten-free by choosing gluten-free pasta.

Ingredients

1/2 pound borlotti (or cranberry) beans (pinto beans can be substituted)
3 cups (loosely packed) basil leaves
5 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 teaspoons Himalayan or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound pasta, such as strozzapreti or penne (choose gluten-free pasta to make the recipe gluten-free)
1 large (13-ounce) sweet onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
8 ounces green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cups white wine
8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

(As always, choose organic content and fresh content as much as possible for the healthiest recipe.)

  

Instructions

1. Cook the dried beans: Place the dried beans in a medium pot and fill with 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 1 hour. Drain the beans, discard the liquid and return the beans to the pot. Add 3 inches of water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until the beans are tender -- about 45 minutes. Strain, reserving the cooking liquid, and keep warm.

2. Make the pesto: Combine the basil, lemon juice, 1 whole garlic clove, parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor and puree. Add 1/2 cup olive oil in a slow, steady stream and continue to process for 1 more minute until well pureed. Set aside.

3. Cook the pasta: Bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat, in a large saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of coarse salt. Place 3/4 pound of the strozzapreti or penne pasta in the water and cook (maintaining a medium boil) until just al dente -- about 9 minutes. Drain the pasta immediately (do not rinse). Set aside.

4. Cook the vegetables: Finely chop the remaining garlic clove. Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are deep golden brown -- 5 to 7 minutes. Add the green beans and remaining salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute more. Add the wine, borlotti beans, and 1/2 cup of the reserved bean cooking liquid. Cover and cook until beans are warmed and green beans are tender -- 2 to 3 more minutes.

5. Assemble the dish: Place the pasta in a large serving bowl, add the bean mixture and pesto, and toss. Top with the tomatoes and serve warm.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: Calories 414, Total Fat 19g, Cholesterol 7mg, Sodium 515mg, Carbohydrates 47g, Dietary Fiber 6g, Protein 13g.

Original recipe and image source: http://www.countryliving.com/recipefinder/pasta-e-fagioli-pesto-3152

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