Pasta with vegetables is one of my favorites, even better if the pasta is made of buckwheat. This seed is widely used in northern Italy, and besides having a catchy color, it’s also healthy and doesn’t contain gluten. In the Italian tradition, it is often used for hearty winter dishes, in the form of ‘pizzoccheri’ or ‘polenta taragna’. I chose a light combination, suitable for the summer period, filled with veggies and vegetable protein.
Ingredients for 4 servings
- 160 g buckwheat pasta, I’m using pizzoccheri in gnocchetti shape, if you are celiac, make sure the pasta is gluten-free.
- 6 sage leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, in halves without the green germ
- 10 cherry tomatoes, in halves
- 10 chard leaves, the green part in roughly chopped stripes, the stem finely chopped
- ½ jar of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp of tahini
- ½ glass of water + 2 Tbsp
- 4 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
- a sprinkle of chili pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat 2 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil in a nonstick pan, and fry the garlic and the sage leaves, until the garlic is golden and releases its scent. Take out two sage leaves from the pan and set aside. Add the cherry tomatoes, the chard leaves, and 1/2 cup of water to the pan, season with salt, pepper, and chili pepper. Cook over a medium heat, until the vegetables are ready, and the liquid has been absorbed.
Blend in a high-speed mini blender or in a traditional blender, for about 1 minute: the cannellini beans, 2 Tbsp of water, 2 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, the lemon juice, the tahini, the two sage leaves previously removed from the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Aim for a creamy consistency, and not too runny.
Meanwhile prepare the pasta, boiling it in salted water, deducting 2 minutes from your package instructions, to keep it ‘al dente’. Taste to check if it’s cooked properly, and drain. Add the pasta to the pan with the vegetables, and stir for a few seconds. Turn off the heat, incorporate the cannellini cream and serve. Sprinkle some extra-virgin olive oil on top, if you like.