Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beano Tuesday: Saucy Cannellinis over Spinach

One week into Beano Monday and I miss posting. As Tommy and I often say, silly Mommy!

Anyhoo, tonight was fast food for the boys (Tom's "collecting" all the Night at the Museum 2 toys), so Phil and I were on our own for dinner. He cobbled together a meal from about five little containers of leftovers, while I guiltily made myself a dinner that's one of my favorites. My friend Katie, a favorite cook, made it for me one night and it's maddeningly simple and really delicious -- especially considering how few humble ingredients it contains.

Saucy Cannellinis over Spinach

2 or 3 tsp. nice olive oil
2 or so cloves of garlic, minced
2 or so tsp. anchovy paste (or a couple anchovies, if you like)
a few sprinkles crushed red pepper flakes
1 can (15 oz. or so) cannellini beans, drained but with the juice reserved
A generous handful of fresh baby spinach leaves
A Tbsp. or so grated Parmesan, if you like

Heat up the olive oil over medium heat in a little saucepan. Add the garlic, anchovy paste (or anchovies), and pepper flakes; stir until the garlic is nicely browned but not burned and the paste is mixed in nicely (or the anchovies disappear into the oil). Add the drained beans and then add back a little of the juice. Lower the heat a little and let it simmer, stirring every now and again. If tonight gauges your quiet time, you'll have time to read a few small features and a Fareed Zakaria (love that man!) article in the new Newsweek while the beans gently cook and get a little saucy. Add a bit more of the juice if they seem like they're drying out.

Pour the hot beans over the spinach greens, which will partially wilt. Lovely. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Apologize to anyone eating scrounged leftovers that, sadly, this recipe really only comfortably serves one. Too bad.

In other food news, my friend Kitty recently introduced me to the idea of homemade Greek yogurt. I'd lost steam making my own yogurt because it always came out a bit runnier than I like. So we'd become big fans of a local dairy that makes the most amazing yogurt, which the kids devour, and Phil's become a fan of Greek yogurt. But with Kitty to encourage me, this weekend I made yogurt. When it was finished, I lined a strainer with a coffee filter (Kitty says you can also use a linen towel) and poured the yogurt in, letting it strain over a bowl overnight in the fridge. In the morning the bowl was full of whey, which looks not unlike what fills Sylvie's diapers several times a day. So although I understand you can bake with whey, in what seems like a sign of wanton consumerism in these tough economic times, I guiltily it threw out.

The resulting firm yogurt did need some whipping up with a whisk to make it creamy, but then it was delicious. And far less expensive than the $4.99 containers someone in our household keeps picking up at the Fresh Market. I smell a new staple in our house...

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