Looking in my fridge this afternoon, I realized I had a lot of greens leftover from last week’s pickup. Keeping greens fresh and ready to use for the week isn’t too difficult (after washing them thoroughly, I wrap them in a damp paper towel and store in a gallon ziploc bag which I reuse every week) but any longer than a week and things start to get iffy.
This quick, easy and satisfying pasta dish accepts any and all greens so you can use whatever you have a lot of that you may need to “move quickly” if you know what I’m saying. For me, that was the red russian kale and spinach but you could use arugula, even sorrel, whatever you’ve got! And you can even blend some of those greens into the pesto that I used to sauce this pasta, in this case a ramp and pumpkin seed pesto, but seeing as how ramp season has come to close you could substitute them for just about any green, spinach, kale, arugula, etc!
This was the perfect warming dinner that I needed after an afternoon of heavy sun and lots of rose followed by a massive thunderstorm which dropped the temperature by about 10 degrees within an hour! Hope this fills your belly sometime this week!
Cavatappi with Cannellini Beans, Plowbreak Garlic Greens, Kale, Spinach and Toasted Breadcrumbs
Serves 1 to 4 depending on how conservative/generous your portions are
- 8 ounces cavatappi (or your favorite ridged pasta shape), cooked to just under al dente
- 1/2 head Plowbreak Red Russian Kale, thinly sliced
- 1 large handful Plowbreak spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 stalk Plowbreak Green Garlic, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 15.5 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- juice of half of a lemon
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup pasta cooking water
- 1 heaping tablespoon pesto
- 1 heaping tablespoon plain yogurt, Greek or Icelandic style
- Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating over top
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
For the breadcrumbs:
- 1 cup panko
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Plowbreak Oregano, finely minced
To prepare the pasta, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. When hot, add the green garlic and red onion and saute until softened and fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Add the kale and spinach to the pan and cook, stirring, until very bright green and almost completely wilted. Add the beans to the pan and stir in the butter, lemon juice and red pepper flake. Taste for seasoning and salt as necessary.
Now, add the pasta to the pan along with the pesto, yogurt and pasta cooking liquid. Continue cooking until the pasta has warmed through and any excess liquid has evaporated and the pesto and yogurt have formed a thick sauce clinging to everything. Taste again and adjust for seasoning.
To prepare the breadcrumbs, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and when hot, add the minced oregano and let fry until crisp. Add the panko to the pan and allow to toast to a nice golden brown, stirring occasionally. Season with a little salt and set aside to cool.
To assemble, spoon a portion of the pasta into a bowl or onto a plate. Drizzle with a little olive oil and shave over a generous amount of Parmigiano. Top with the breadcrumbs and enjoy!