My friend Adamo is 100% Italian. He is one of the only people I know that is 100% of anything and was born and raised in the United States. With this being said no doubt he has that magical Italian food making gene, so when I run into him in the grocery store I definitely check out his cart. OH YES, I admit, I am a grocery cart ogler. One of my favorite recipes I got from Adamo was a grocery cart ogle.
There are a couple reasons I really like this recipe. One is that I’m a working girl, I schlep to the office from 9-5 (ahem, 8:30-5:30) everyday and often don’t have a lot of time to make dinner. Hello, I’m not alone here, the quick easy, delicious, nutritious dinner is the ongoing pursuit of MOST people I know. Two, this is the kind of meal that I can make gluten-free and vegetarian so it can satisfy the needs of both members of my family. Three, it incorporates protein, starch and vegetables. Four, it makes great leftovers for me to schlep to work the next day.
Adamo’s Zucchini and Fagioli Pasta
I use gluten free pasta in this recipe but if you aren’t glutarded, feel free to use semolina pasta or even a whole wheat pasta.
1 package bionature gluten-free penne
3 tender zucchinis
2 large heirlooms tomatoes (or four vine ripe tomatoes)
Handful of yellow cherry tomatoes (optional)
2 – 12 oz. cans of cannelli beans
2 tbsp. extra virgin first press olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (you can use 2 tblsp. dried but fresh is best!)
2 tbsp. sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano for topping
I’ve tried a lot of gluten free pastas. I mean, pasta was my pre-glutarded realization go to. I like different brands for different types of gluten free pasta, for Penne Rigate recipes I use this pasta from Bionature.
This is the type of pasta that you want to make sure you make with plenty of tomatoes. They can easily get lost in the pasta and beans but the tomatoes add that much needed compliment of acidity and flavor. I used a combination of the lovely heirloom and cherry tomatoes available readily this time of year but in a pinch (or when fresh tomatoes are expensive and mealy) you can use canned chopped tomatoes. I love Muir Glen.
Okay…lots of notes on ingredients, but it’s because this dish is a lot more about delicious ingredients then technique. Once you’ve chopped your tomatoes, prep your zucchini, I used my mandolin this time around but I’ve also done thicker half moons and diced zukes. Put your water on to boil. Split and thin slice your garlic, chop your basil. Once your water is boiled and salted, cook the pasta for a minute less then indicated on the package. You will cook it a little more later and gluten-free pastas are more finicky then flour pastas so you need to be more precise in their cook times. Drain your pasta and set aside. In the pot you used to boil your pasta, heat up your olive oil, add your garlic and saute gently. Through your cooked pasta back in the pot, turn the burner down to med-low. Mix in your zucchini, tomatoes, basil and cannelini beans (drained and rinsed), stir on heat for at least ten minutes so the pasta can meld and cook. Salt to taste. Dish and garnish with grated cheese. Serve to husband who is watching an episode of Jersey Shore to get in the mood (I kid, I kid!).