Why this recipe works. Italians have a knack for transforming humble ingredients into remarkable meals, and the rustic trio of pasta, greens, and beans is a fine example. We combined whole-wheat spaghetti with curly-leaf spinach, creamy cannelloni beans, and sweet diced tomatoes. To give the pasta a strong savory presence, we employed a one two punch of umami with white miso and cheesy tasting nutritional yeast. To ensure that everything would fit in one pan, we wilted half the spinach before adding the rest with the tomatoes and vegetable broth. Then we braised the spinach in the broth and followed by adding the beans and some Calmat olives for a briny pop of flavor. Cooking this mixture with the pasta for just a couple minutes created a harmonious dish.
Serves 4 to 6
The skillet will be very full once you add all the spinach in step 2, but the volume will become more manageable as the spinach wilts. We strongly prefer our favorite vegetarian broth, Orrington Farms Vegan Chicken Flavored Broth Vase and Seasoning, or a broth of your choice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
8 garlic cloves, peeled (5 sliced 3 minced)
Salt and Pepper
1 Onion, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/4 pounds curly leaf spinach, stemmed and cut into I inch pieces
3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 table spoons white miso
2 table spoons nutritional yeast
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can cannelloni beans, rinsed
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped coarse
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
- Add 3 tablespoons oil and sliced garlic to 12-inch skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until garlic turns golden but not brown, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic to paper towel lined plate; season lightly with salt.
- Add onion to oil left in skillet and cook over medium heat until softened and just beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in pepper flakes and minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add half of spinach and cook, tossing occasionally, until starting to wilt, about 2 minutes. Whisk broth, miso, and nutritional yeast in small bowl until combined, then add to skillet with tomatoes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining spinach. Bring to simmer, then cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until spinach is completely wilted, about 10 minus. Stir in beans and olives, then remove skillet from heat and cover to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until nearly tender. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot. Stir in spinach mixture and cool over medium heat, tossing to combine, until pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
- Off heat, stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Adjust consistency with reserved cooking water as needed and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, garnishing individual portions with garlic chips and drizzling with oil