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White Beans and Fusilli

This makes a great lunch as well as an entrée for dinner. I make this pasta dish with beans because they provide a bit of protein. Serve with a green salad and a sliced French baguette brushed with olive oil and toasted.


1 cup Great Northern or cannellini beans, soaked overnight in 3 cups of water to cover and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 bay leaf
3 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup walnuts
5 cups fresh basil
5 large cloves garlic, peeled or smashed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound fusilli or pasta shells
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch escarole, chopped
1/3 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste

1 lemon, sliced


Drop the bay leaf into the pot of water that the beans have been soaking in overnight. Bring the water to a boil, pour in the vegetable stock, and cook for 45 minutes or longer. The beans should be able to be easily pierced with a fork.

Make the pesto: Put all the pesto ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor and blend. Slowly add the oil and continue to process until it becomes a smooth paste. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water with the salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until it is al dente.

Meanwhile, sauté the onions, garlic, escarole, and rosemary in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until limp. Add salt to taste and mix in with the beans.

Drain the pasta in a colander and pour it into a large bowl. Add about 1/3 cup of the pesto or more to taste and toss well until it is distributed evenly and the strands of pasta are coated.

Serve the pasta in 6 individual pasta bowls and ladle white beans on top. Garnish each with a slice of lemon.

Tips from Rosie’s Kitchen:
Store leftover pesto in ice cube trays, then cover and freeze. Pesto is wonderful tossed plain with warm noodles or mixed with béchamel or white sauce and tossed with pasta.

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Serves 6

Per serving:
Calories 538.3
Fat 4.1 g
Saturated fat 0.6 g(6.9% of calories from fat)
Protein 26 g
Carbohydrate 100.1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Fiber 12.8 g

This recipe is from The Healthy Kitchen – Recipes for a Better Body, Life, and Spirit (Hardcover) by Andrew Weil, M.D. and Rosie Daley (Knopf)


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