Friday, June 04, 2010

White Beans Puttanesca with Spinach

Adapted from epicurious.com

I could have sworn that I posted this last spring when I first made it but apparently not. I love puttancesca and this is a great way to get it on the table quickly and using more veg than if you just made it with pasta. The original recipe calls for anchovy fillets but I don't keep those on hand; I prefer to use a tube of anchovy paste. Before you turn your nose up at it, it's a wonderful staple to have on hand as it melts rights into the dish giving it a wonderful flavor without being at all fishy.

1 1/2 T anchovy paste (found in the canned fish aisle at your local mega mart)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (less for kids or wussy fathers-in-law)
3-ish T extra-virgin olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (good olives make all the difference here)
2 T drained capers, chopped if you like
1 (19-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 large bag baby spinach (about 12 oz--I didn't really measure), rinsed and drained well
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

In a large skillet or brazier, heat olive oil, garlic, pepper flakes and anchovy paste over medium heat until anchovies are all melted and garlic and pepper flakes start to smell fragrant. Stir in tomatoes, olives and capers then stir in spinach handfuls at a time allowing time for what's in the pan already to wilt. Turn up heat and add beans and stir until heated through and spinach is wilted and water from spinach and tomatoes has somewhat evaporated. Add basil and stir. Garnish with shaved parmesan with a green salad and crusty bread. Serves about 4.

*A note about the anchovy paste: when you open the tube, be sure to do it over the sink or trash can and point the opening of the tub down into the sink/trash and away from your body. The pressure from inside the tube will force a little bit of the paste to spray out and it gets on everything if you aren't careful.

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