Don’t worry, it still tastes good. I got the boyfriend stamp of approval last night when I served it to him.
“Dear, do you like your dinner?” I asked while helping myself to seconds in my shoebox sized kitchen-galley.
“Yes! It’s wonderful. Probably the healthiest thing I’ve ever eaten!” Adam declared as he speared seven perfectly al dente noodles on his fork.
I almost reminded him that once, I made him a smoothie with spinach and almond butter, which definitely would be considered healthier than pasta loaded with cheese, beans and olive oil.
But then I decided to just let it go. Only later did I realize that he forgot to ask where’s the meat.
This “healthy” pasta sure doesn’t skimp on the flavor. Because, I don’t know about you, but I really hate it when “healthy” dinners taste like crap. Like, if I wanted lowfat pasta that tastes like cardboard, I’d just go straight to the source and find me a science fair project.
You get my drift.
This pasta, however, is loaded with lots of bright flavor from garlic, lemon zest and sundried tomatoes. The cannellini beans make for an almost cream-like sauce without any added fat.
Yep, it was pretty much fat-free up until the point when I liberally drizzled my pasta with olive oil and added a large handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese at the end.
This is totally one of those “15 minute” dinners, too. And leftovers taste mighty good cold. I know from experience.
Penne with White Beans and Spinach
3/4 lb dry penne pasta
1 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups baby spinach
zest of one lemon
juice of two lemons
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or more to taste)
Cook the pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water. When cooked, drain and reserve one half cup of cooking liquid. Set aside.
In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and saute for two minutes, until toasted and fragrant (be careful not to burn!). Add the cooked pasta, beans, sundried tomatoes and spinach and cook until spinach wilts. Add the lemon zest, juice, salt, cayenne and cheese and toss well. Add some of the cooking water if the mixture seems dry.