Friday, June 25, 2010

June 21 - Capellini - Angel Hair - with Cannellini Beans and Asparagus in Basil Pesto

Angel Hair pasta is one of my favourites.  Most packages of good Italian pasta will call it by it's real name of Capellini, literally meaning 'Little Hair'.  If you are a regular Eater/Reader here, then you know that I have a penchant for either really fine pasta or really fat pasta like Pappardelle.  MMMMM  As well, I prefer sauces to be clingy; clingy to the pasta and not the plate.  Therefore, I like to cook the pasta a bit in the pasta sauce.  I knew I had a craving for Cannellini beans and originally was going to do something with Tuna loin but I did not find any I liked while on Commercial.  If I am going to make a meal-like salad involving 'canned' Tuna, I prefer to use large chunk or loin usually in jars or in foil bags.  I save the other hockey puck tins for sandwiches and croquettes.  This meal just sort of fell together. 

Cannelini Beans and Asparagus Angel Hair Pesto
(serves 1 very hungry me)

90-100 g Capellini or Angel Hair Pasta, what I do is make an 'Okay' sign with my fingers and that hole is 1 me serving.  It's probably a bit much, so I then take a tad away.
1 small tin White Italian Cannellini Beans, drained
2-3 T Basil Pesto (or if you used jarred look for high Basil and Olive Oil content, no fillers!)
6-8 Asparagus, spears trimmed and halved
1-2 cloves Garlic
1-2 T Olive Oil
1 T Pine Nuts
4-5 fresh Basil leaves, cut chiffonade
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Parmesan

Bring a medium pot of Water to a boil with 1 t of Salt. 

Meanwhile, in a large non stick pan, heat 1 T of Olive Oil.  Sautee the Asparagus for a few minutes until bright green and tender.  I like it slightly roasted.  Add the Cannellini beans that have been well drained.  And the Garlic, minced.  Toss by flipping the pan (see the video below) and avoid using a stiff spatula because you can mash the beans.  If you had  re hydrated your own beans, this would not be a concern. 

Add the Pesto the pan and the Pine Nuts.  Continue to gently toss.  You may need to add a bit of Olive Oil or Pasta Water.  Turn the heat to low.

At this point you would be boiling your pasta.  Angel Hair should only take about 5-7 minutes.  Using a pair of tongs or pasta fork, spoon the pasta directly into the pan with the sauce.  Toss to coat the noodles.

Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan and Basil leaves.  I drank a Trimbach Riesling which was a lovely light pairing that shone without eclipsing the food at all.  Yummo! So Yummo!

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