After all my pining for spring earlier this week, I’m going to make one last case for winter.
Though I’m anxious to emerge from the darkness of injury and winter and fully blossom into the spring of my recovery, I also still have a taste for chili. So I’m relishing the chill still lingering in the air, because it gives me an excuse to make delicious, stick-to-your-ribs meals that seem inappropriately heavy once asparagus hits the farmers markets and flowers grace the magnolia and cherry trees.
It’s in that spirit that I offer an old favorite recipe, penne with cannellini beans and spinach. It’s based on a long-lost Cooking Light recipe, but has since become my own. It’s super-easy, and is a great way to use up spinach that’s been sitting in the fridge a bit too long for salad purposes.
Penne with cannellini beans and spinach
1 cup whole-wheat penne
1 cup spinach
1/4 cup asiago cheese (and hard cheese appropriate for an Italian dish will do—Pecorino Romano is especially yummy)
1/4 cup cannellini beans
5 garlic cloves, minced (adjust this if you’re not a garlic fan)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
Cook pasta. Steam spinach, if desired (you can also just mix the spinach in and let it wilt from the heat of the pasta). Place both in the bowl you’ll be eating from. Add rest of ingredients. Mix well. Devour.
In other news, I tried a new kind of chili recommended by the wonderful cooking blog The Bitten Word. Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash is an instant classic in my book. Stay tuned for my simplified version of the recipe next week.