Comfort Spinach and Bean Pasta

Hello everyone! Well, it has been a while since I have written about recipes. I took a break from blogging about food because I was travelling in the United States, and wanted to share my adventures away from the kitchen (also, I did not have a real kitchen for three months… Just a camping stove). Now that I am back, and starting to get settled in a new city, I am getting back into cooking. Tonight I made a recipe from Fine Cooking, a magazine full of delicious, drool-worthy recipes and interesting tips in the kitchen. I found this recipe for Pasta Shells with Spinach and Cannellini Beans in their latest issue. Here is my adaptation of it, vegan-ified:

Ingredients for the “Parmesan” Cheese
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
pinch salt

Ingredients for the Pasta
3 tbsp olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large box spinach (around 9oz)
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (navy beans or white kidney beans would also do the trick, in my opinion)
3/4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp red pepper flakes
500g pasta (I used penne, but the original recipe called for large shells)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
“Parmesan” cheese to taste

To make the “Parmesan” cheese, I pulsed the almonds and nutritional yeast in a blender until the almonds turned into a powder. Be careful not to over-blend, as the oils from the almonds can release and start to create almond butter if pulsed for too long. I reserved the cheese in a bowl for later.

In a large pot, I boiled the pasta in salted water until cooked, and then drained it. The pasta was rinsed with cold water to stop it from cooking more.

In another pot, I heated 2 tbsp olive oil on medium heat and sauteed the garlic for 30 seconds. I added the spinach in large handfuls, letting it reduce when the pot became full. Once all the spinach  was added and reduced, I added the beans and 1/4 cup of the broth. I let the mixture boil for a few minutes, until the liquid reduced by half. I added the rest of the broth, the red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp salt. The pot was removed from the heat at this point.

I tossed the pasta with the sauce, along with the last 1 tbsp olive oil. I added all the lemon juice and seasoned the pasta with salt and pepper. The pasta may need up to an extra 1/2 cup of liquid if it is too dry, but mine did not.

IMG_20150926_184401

I served the pasta with a generous helping of the “Parmesan” cheese on top, and ate it with a kale salad with vegan Caesar salad dressing, made by my beau. We each had seconds of the pasta and agreed that it was a great comfort food.

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