In need of a good Valentine’s Day dinner recipe? Then look no further than this one. Sure, it may be a little garlicky, but that’s not an issue to me. If I get married in the future, the hubs better be able to handle me smelling like onions and garlic or else it just won’t work.
This, on the other hand, works. It’s easy, filling, and delicious. Plus, Listerine was invented for a reason.
Kale and White Bean Penne
Serves 4 to 6
12 to 15 leaves of kale
10 oz. whole wheat penne
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. capers
½ to 1 Tbsp. caper juice (to your preference)
½ cup dry white wine
15oz. can diced tomatoes (no salt added variety)
15oz. can great northern beans, rinsed
15oz. can cannelini beans, rinsed
Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1. Rinse kale and remove tough stems from leaves. Pile 3 to 4 leaves on top of each other at a time, roll them together into a log, and slice into 1/2″ strips (this is called chiffonade). Place shreds into a bowl and save for later.
2. In a pot, boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.
3. While pasta cooks, heat oil over medium in a large pan. Cook onions for 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, capers, and caper juice. Cook for another minute stirring constantly.
4. Add drained tomatoes, beans, and wine to mixture. Allow wine to boil and cook another 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Smash some of the beans to thicken the sauce. Add a little water if desired (½ to 1 cup).
6. When pasta is done cooking, toss the kale into the hot water. It will cook quickly, and as soon as the color turns a vibrant, bright green, it’s done (about 30 seconds).
7. Drain pasta and kale, return to pot. Add sauce, and stir to coat.
8. Grate cheese on top of pasta before serving.
**Note: You probably will not need to add salt to the dish as both capers and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese have very salty flavors themselves. Taste before adding any additional salt!
**Double Note: If you’re really concerned about having garlic breath, just leave the capers and caper juice out. It’s an easy fix, and the dish will still taste great.