Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ditalini and Macaroni with Spinach, Butter Beans, and Pecorino

Most of the things I make and share with you are made with love, meant to show how much I care, appreciate, and respect the recipient.

This dish isn't. This dish is born of frustration, confusion, and too much coffee. And it kind of worked.

In the span of one hour yesterday, I had two big presentations I had been working on for weeks cancelled or postponed for months (yes, months), three social events cancelled or rescheduled, and several other wrenches thrown in my schedule. As someone who likes to know what's coming and loves to cross things off her (always growing) to-do list, this was incredibly disheartening.

So I took it out on this pasta.

It started out as trying to make a delicious-looking pasta dish from a new cookbook that I had been saving for just such a day. But then I decided throwing things in was cathartic, so I threw in spinach. And garlic.

And then seitan. And then carrots. And then extra cheese...

And then, when I put it on my dinner plate, it ended up looking like a delicious mess. And, finally, something went right.

Angry cooking. Try it... you just might want seconds.

Ditalini and Macaroni with Spinach, Butter Beans, and Pecorino

Inspired by Susan Feniger's Street Food

1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion, diced
Kosher salt
4 cups spinach
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup ditalini pasta
1 cup small macaroni
1 cup grated pecorino romano
1 cup italian-spiced seitan (I love Upton's Naturals, if you can get it; if you eat meat, you can substitute any italian sausage)
Juice of 1 lemon

In a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat; add in onions, and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds; stir in carrots, seitan, beans, and spinach, and cover with lid for five minutes to steam.

In a separate pot, bring water to boil; reduce to simmer, salt water, and add in ditalini and macaroni. Cook until shy of al dente, drain, and add to skillet to finish cooking pasta. Stir in cayenne, pepper, pecorino, and lemon juice until combined. Serve either warm or room temperature, topped with more pecorino.

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