Happy Monday! I came home to an empty house this evening, since my husband is on call. Usually, I use these opportunities to either 1) invite my sister over to do girl-stuff like eat and watch TV or 2) make all of the foods that only I like. Well, I didn’t do either of those things today because I had an even better idea: I would make something quickly and eat it as fast as possible because I was super hungry. I succeeded. It was pasta, and it was delicious.
Pasta is one of the fastest, easiest, most versatile foods, so I eat it a lot. However, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I do not like red sauce of any kind very much, leading to a number of ruined family vacations and generally annoying situations for my friends (I’ve gotten better, by the way). So, when I make pasta, it is usually a non-traditional, cheese-laden dish that in no way is or pretends to be Italian. But, usually, it’s good.
This recipe, as it says, is pasta for two for one (me). Usually, it’s pasta for four for two–enough for two dinners with leftovers for two lunches. But, since it’s just me, I cut it in half. Actually, that’s a lie; I make it up as I go along every time, so I just made it up at half the size. Easy-peasy. As with the last post, you can scroll to the bottom for ways to change-up the recipe to suit your tastes. This can be paired with a brownie for dessert, but that pretty much goes without saying.
Pasta With Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Arugula
Makes 2 servings
Prep + Cook Time: 20 mins (it’s pretty much all active time, but it goes by fast!)
Nutrition information per serving: 521 calories, 66g carbs, 21g fat, 22g protein (all calculated by MyFitnessPal)
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 clove garlic, smashed
a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cups dried pasta (I used Barilla medium shells, because the box was already open, but you can use anything)
1 pre-cooked chicken sausage, cut in quarters lengthwise and diced (I like Trader Joe’s Spinach and Feta Sausage, but you can use any type)
1/2 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 handfuls (about 2 cups) of arugula
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Pour olive oil into a small or medium sauté pan. Add garlic clove and red pepper flakes and place on low heat (don’t let the garlic burn! The point is to flavor the oil with garlic). At the same time, bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. While the water is boiling, you can cut the sausage, drain and rinse the beans, and grate the cheese.
When the water begins to boil, drop in the pasta (make sure the water is well seasoned with salt, or the pasta will be bland). Set the kitchen timer to whatever time the box of pasta says to cook to al dente (this is one of the most useful things anyone ever taught me in the kitchen. There is no need to constantly check the pasta for done-ness–it will cook perfectly every time if you do it this way).
Remove the garlic clove from the olive oil and discard it, and turn the heat up to medium. Add the sausage and beans, and gently stir every few minutes.
When there are 2 minutes left on the pasta timer, add the arugula to the sausage and beans. Stir to wilt.
When the pasta is done, drain, and add to the sausage, beans, and arugula. Add the parmesan cheese and salt to taste. Yum!
Possible substitutions, omissions, and additions:
- EVOO for another oil
- Whole-wheat pasta for regular pasta
- Spinach for arugula
- Chickpeas for cannellini beans
- Any other flavor of chicken sausage, or pork sausage (or omit the sausage)
- Cheese can be omitted (but why would you do that?); or better, you can add mozzarella cheese
- Any herbs can be added.