RECIPE

Creamy Spaghetti and Beans

Risotto meets pasta e fagioli in this Tuscan classic. Serve with Earthy Portobello Salad with Prosciutto.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 pound chunk of pancetta, chopped into a small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut into a small dice
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
  • 1 can Roman beans or small white beans (15 ounces), such as Goya brand
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • A generous handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, for garnish

Preparation

Place the chicken stock in a saucepot and warm it over medium heat, then reduce to simmer.

Heat the EVOO and the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the pancetta to brown slightly. Add the garlic, then add the spaghetti and toast the noodles lightly, 2 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, bay leaf and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Soften the veggies a bit, 5 minutes.

Add the wine and allow it to be completely absorbed. Add the beans, then add a few ladles of stock and stir the pasta. Keep adding stock a few ladles at a time, allowing the liquid to be mostly absorbed before adding more, as if you were preparing a risotto.

When the liquids is absorbed and the spaghetti is cooked to al dente, 12-15 minutes, stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Adjust the salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir another minute. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems. Serve the Creamy Spaghetti in shallow bowls and garnish with lots of parsley.

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