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Greens, Beans, and Pasta – Aglio e Olio style

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.

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

Submitted by Paula Redinger, Tucson CSA