Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cavatelli con Biete, Funghi, E Fagioli

Cavatelli con Biete, Funghi, E Fagioli

Blogger's Note:  I have to remind you of this every now and again, but please click on the pictures to get the full "Food Monty."  ;.)


Somebody please tell me if my Italian is correct here?

I am married to a man who is part Italian, who grew up with an Italian stepfather.  But doesn't speak a word of it except for Pizza, Pasta or vino... okay, maybe he knows a few choice words I cannot repeat  here.  We'll just leave it at that.

With my hypoglycemia, I cannot enjoy as many vegetarian meals as I would like.  You know I love meat.  There is no secret there.  I also love my veggies.  I normally eat my vegetarian meal at lunch in the form of a salad.  I am supposed to have protein before bed.  But then I remembered beans;  popular in central and southern Italy, a typical serving of Cannellini beans provides 7 grams of protein. 

Well, there you go!

Besides being meatless, this recipe is also quick and easy to prepare.  And it's cheap to make.  With the price of beef these days, no wonder more people are turning to veggie meals.  Trust me, you won't miss the meat with this meal.

It's cavatelli pasta with red Swiss chard, big beefy white steak cut mushrooms and white beans, in a simple spicy olive oil, light butter and garlic sauce.  All you need need is a little grated cheese and some crusty bread and you're ready to rock.

So, whether I have my Italian correct or not, the title of this recipe sure sounds romantic, doesn't it? 

This is the time of year for romance.

Cavatelli with Swiss Chard, Mushroom and Beans
Serves 4

1/2 pound Cavatelli pasta, cooked per package directions
1/8 cup Olive Oil
1 bunch Red Swiss Chard, chopped, including stems
1/8 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
Course Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
8 ounces thick Steak Sliced White Mushrooms
2 tablespoons Butter, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried Rosemary
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper, more or less to taste
1  15 ounce can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
1/8 cup Dry Vermouth
Grated Parmesan Cheese for passing at the table

Other:  Two ladles of starchy Cooking Water from the pasta

Add olive oil to non-stick skillet and heat until very hot, but not smoking.

Add Swiss chard.  Cook for about five minutes over medium heat, making sure that the chard does not burn.  Add nutmeg.

Remove chard from pan to bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add mushrooms to the same pan.  Add one tablespoon of the butter, thyme, rosemary and the crushed red pepper.  Cook for five minutes, turning mushrooms once, until browned on both sides. 

Salt and pepper to taste.

Add beans, the other tablespoon of butter and the Vermouth.  Cook for two minutes over low heat until wine reduces. 

Add cooking water.  Reduce for one more minute. 

Add cooked pasta.  Stir and plate.

Add cheese as desired.

Serve with crusty bread or garlic toast.
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