Creamy Spaghetti and Beans

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sounds gross, right? Beans and spaghetti? After watching Rachel Ray make it, I tried it last week, and it was actually delicious! Here is the link to the original recipe:,,FOOD_9936_72480,00.html

And I'll post it here, with my notes.

5 to 6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 pound chunk pancetta chopped into small dice (couldn't find a chunk of it, just some sliced like lunch meat at Wal-Mart, so I used that no problem)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound spaghetti (break it in half or smaller unless you have a huge pot the size of your whole stove)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, cut into a small dice (In addition to the onion and carrot, I added some broccoli. Peas woulda been good too)
1 fresh bay leaf (LOL, I tried to use my dried crushed bay leaves, DON'T do that. It was awful)
5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme (Used dried with no problem)
1 (15-ounce) can Roman beans or small white beans (couldn't find Roman, used navy beans, but don't put the beans in till the very end)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine, eyeball it
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (parmigiano reggiano my foot, just use parmasean)
A generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place the stock in a sauce pot and warm it over medium heat then reduce to simmer.
Heat the extra-virgin olive oil and the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the pancetta to brown slightly. Next add the garlic and spaghetti and toast the noodles lightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions and carrots, bay and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Soften veggies a bit, 5 minutes. Add wine and allow it to be completely absorbed. Add beans (don't forget what I said - it's too early here!) then add a few ladles of stock and stir the pasta. Keep adding stock a few ladles at a time allowing liquids to be mostly absorbed before adding more, as if you were preparing a risotto. When liquids are absorbed and spaghetti is cooked to al dente, 12-15 minutes, stir in cheese. Adjust salt and pepper. Turn off heat and stir another minute. Remove the bay and thyme stems. Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with lots of parsley.

By the way, the pasta part of it took a lot longer than 12-15 minutes!


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