You know how people go on and on about how you only need a few good ingredients to make something that tastes great? You know how I am, in fact, one of those people? Well, a recipe like this basically exemplifies that notion. It absolutely could not be easier, the ingredient list is very short, but it’s really flavorful.
I’m not sure what amount of pasta is used in the original recipe, but I’m guessing a pound. I used 8 oz. of pasta, so I halved the ingredients Adam listed – except for the garlic, because we love garlic. I also used 1 can of cannellini beans, which I think is probably closer to 1/3 of a lb. (at least, from a bag of dried cannellini beans you’d cook yourself) than 1/2 lb, but I think it was a good amount.
The beans give this pasta a nice meaty texture (and combined with whole wheat pasta, you definitely get a fiber boost!). I’m really glad I put extra garlic in this because the nice toasty flavor of it really came through.
Cavatappi with Sundried Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans
Inspired by Amateur Gourmet/Lidia Bastianich
8 oz. whole wheat cavatappi pasta, with 1.25 cups of the pasta cooking water reserved
1 Tbsp. oil from oil-packed sundried tomatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 fat cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
heaping 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, drained and sliced into strips
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Good extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, if desired
Cook the pasta until al dente in salted water. Set aside 1.25 cups of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat the oil from the sundried tomatoes and the olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and fry it for about a minute before adding the red pepper flakes, and toast those for another 30 seconds or so. Spread the sundried tomatoes out in the skillet and allow them to sizzle for a minute. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Keep it simmering until it reduces down by half.
Add the beans, the remaining 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and some salt to taste. Bring to a boil and then cook at an active simmer for four minutes. Stir in the pasta. Add the parsley and then, off the heat, add the romano/parmesan. Season with freshly ground black pepper and, if you want, drizzle the plated pasta with some good extra virgin olive oil.