rigatoni with white beans and kale

12 Dec

white beans and escarole is a classic italian combination that is used either on its own as a vegetable dish or with pasta. my sister and i love love love a white bean and escarole fusilli pasta at an italian restaurant in south florida. last time i was home we were supposed to get it for dinner but due to some unfortunate complications, it never quite happened and i’ve been craving it since then; and so, here is my version.

Since this is such a simple dish there is one very important factor: the size, shape, and done-ness of the pasta.

for this dish, the rigatoni really works the best. generally, in a pasta dish you want everything to be the same size so it’s easy to eat, the kale and the rigatoni are about the same size. the reason that there are so many different pasta shapes is because each shape works better with a certain sauce, for whatever reason, wide and thick rigatoni (i could only find long and normal size) works the best in this dish. the pasta needs to be REALLY al dente, you want there to be a substantial bite left to your noodle, about 7 minutes cooking time should do it-i would say no  less than 6 minutes and no more than 8.

What You’ll Need for 4 servings: (or 2 big servings if you are me)

1/3-1/2 of a box of rigatoni try to find the widest, shortest noodle you can but what is pictured is all i could find. definitely go wider than penne if you can!

1 bunch of kale, escarole or other bitter green (collard, mustard, turnip yaddayadda), chopped

1 can of canellini beans (better to use dried, but again, i NEVER plan ahead 😦 ) drained and rinsed well

1/4-1/13 cup of chicken stock or veg stock

3 garlic cloves, minced

about 1/4 cup of leek, thinly sliced (white or yellow onion is fine to substitute)

1-3 T of olive oil

parmesan cheese

crushed red pepper


Basta Pastaaaa!:

bring a medium sauce pot of water up to boil.

in a very large skillet heat 1 T of olive oil over medium heat. add the leeks and garlic, saute until soft and fragrant.

Add in the kale, 1 T of crushed red pepper and half of the stock. Stir, cover and let cook 5 minutes.

Add a large pinch of salt (a few T) to the boiling water, add in the rigatoni and stir.

Reduce the kale to low heat, keeping covered. Once the pasta is finished drain it and pour it into the kale mixture along with the drained beans. add in 1 T of olive oil, the rest of the stock and more crushed red pepper, to taste.

If it is still too dry add in a bit more stock. You don’t want it to be too liquidy but you do want it to be a bit saucy. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and 1 t of salt then taste and add more salt if necessary (add additional salt AFTER the parmesan as it is a very salty cheese and too much salt will ruin your dish!)


5 Responses to “rigatoni with white beans and kale”

  1. sandyabrams December 13, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    tomorrow night! 🙂 thnx.

    • ad2542a December 13, 2011 at 1:12 am #

      awesome! also, i’m really sorry that i don’t yet have the printable recipes, i worked on it this weekend and it’s pretty complicated to do so i sent out some emails and am hoping to find someone who can tell me how to do it without using crazy html coding that is far beyond my comprehension.

  2. liza December 18, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    YUMMMMMM!!!!! Will have to try this one!

  3. Michele December 24, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    I used gluten-free penne (no gluten-free rigatoni in my market) and it came out great!

  4. Theresa Odisio December 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    That looks SO amazing. Feeeeeed meeeee!!

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