Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pasta and Beans???

I don't think that I've ever smelled anything fresher or more clean smelling than fresh Basil.  Who can resist a scent so earthy, yet so heavenly?  On the cover of the March issue of "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine is a picture of "Lemon-Basil Pasta." It looked so appetizing that I just had to try it.

Admittedly I was at first a bit thrown off by the combination of pasta and beans in this recipe.  But, I have to say that the combination works quite well together.  The cannellini beans add a buttery flavor that smooths out the tartness of the lemon and basil.  Great job BHG!  This is one of your recipes that I will add to my list of favorites. 

Lemon-Basil Pasta
10 oz. dried linguine or desired pasta
1 19-oz. can white kidney (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 of a lemon
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Add the beans at the last two minutes of cooking time.  (I prefer to rinse and drain can beans thoroughly to remove extra oils and other additives.)  Remove half of the cooking liquid; set aside.  Drain pasta and beans; cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, finely shred peel  from the lemon half (about 2 teaspoons).  In a small skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat.  Add lemon peel; cook and stir 1 minute, or until lightly golden.

In food processor combine cooked lemon peel, basil, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the juice from the lemon half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Cover and process until smooth.  Add reserved cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desird consistency, processing mixture after every addition.

To serve, toss hot cooked pasta mixture with lemon-basil mixture.  Makes 4 servings.

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