This recipe marries a silky, creamy sauce with toothsome pasta for a dish that is pure comfort! Serve alongside a tossed salad or braised greens.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: gluten free, nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 8large servings
Author: Alanna Peterson
6-8TBolive oil, extra virgin
1shallot (or 1/4 large onion)
Zest of 1 lemon, organic if possible
Salt and pepper, to taste
115-oz canwhite beans
1 - 1.5lbspasta, such as rigatoni or linguini, gluten-free if desired
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Make the Sauce
Mince the garlic and slice the shallots. Place in a saucepan and cover with the olive oil. Add zest from 1 lemon and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Cover and let sit for a few hours at room temperature to infuse the oil with garlicky, shallotty deliciousness.
About an hour before you plan to serve the dish, turn the heat on very low. You want this to cook gently and slowly without burning the garlic. Stir every so often. The kitchen will begin to smell very good.
Once the garlic and shallots are cooked (after half an hour or so; feel free to adjust the heat if needed), drain the can of white beans, but don’t rinse them. Stir the beans into the garlic/shallot mixture and smash them gently into the sides of the pot. Stir vigorously to incorporate the smashed beans into the sauce.
Turn up the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally so that the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom, for another half-hour-ish.
As the sauce cooks, it should develop a creamy, silky consistency, with a slight chunkiness from the beans that weren’t smashed all the way. (I prefer having a little textural variation, but if you want your beans to be invisible, just puree this sauce once it’s cooked.)
Make the Pasta
While the sauce is cooking, boil the pasta until it reaches al dente consistency.
Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain the noodles, return them to the pot, and stir the sauce in. Add the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Taste for salt and tanginess, and add more salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice if desired.