White Bean and Roasted Garlic Pasta “Sauce”

6 Aug

For those of you who have read my blog and recipes from the beginning (albeit it quite sporadic), you know I am a big Mexican food fan. I make it pretty much every single meal. When I’m not cooking up chilis, sprinkling cumin, or melting cheese, I venture into American food and even some Asian cusisine, but Italian food pretty much stays off my radar. I’m not sure why. I guess it’s just not a big favorite in my family, so I didn’t grow up eating Italian food. In fact, the only pasta dish I ever remember eating as a kid is linguine with clam sauce (which came out of a can!). Fast forward to today:  I married a man whose mother’s family is Italian. And, they are great cooks. And, they love their Italian dishes. That means the hubs loves eating Italian food and craves it when we’re away from home for long. So, since he’s so awesome and I love to make him happy, I have tried to add some “Italian” type recipes to my repoirtoire. So far, so good, actually. Surprisingly, I haven’t destroyed anything yet. I mean, I haven’t exactly ventured into anything supremely gourmet. But, at least I’m getting the whole technique of co0king pasta correctly (Hey! Knowing when to stop boiling the pasta is trickier than expected!).

Over the past couple of weeks, Pasta Alfredo has graced our dinner table a couple of times. While it’s pretty tasty – and my version gets loaded with a pound of broccoli – it’s not exactly the most healthful meal we could have. So, I started thinking of ways to recreate the creaminess and decadence of the Alfredo sauce without all of the added cream and butter. I began browsing my cookbook collection (LOVE ME SOME COOKBOOKS!!!) for ideas. I looked and looked, and then came across a pasta dish with white beans and roasted tomatoes. That got me thinking that I could surely make one tasty white bean puree/sauce! From there, my creation came to life! And, here’s how it went:

White Bean and Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

(Serves 4 – depending on how saucy you like things!)

  • 1 can of White Beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 head of roasted garlic (if you’re a roasted garlic newby, see this)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (you could use chicken broth or water if you prefer – you can also use more to thin out your sauce if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon scampi seasoning (I use Wildtree brand; you could use some Italian seasoning if you have that on hand instead – you just want to add some herby flavor/depth to the sauce with this)
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese

Add all ingredients, except for ricotta, to a food processor (Note: for the garlic, simply squeeze out the roasted cloves from each pod on the head of garlic. You can discard the skins). Process until smooth. Transfer to a sauce pot and put on the stove over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally. Once warm, stir in ricotta cheese. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until all is nicely warmed and incorporated.

That’s it folks. Easy-peasy! Now, all you’ve gotta do is toss the sauce with some cooked pasta and veggies (I chose spinach and asparagus, but broccoli would be delish too!). This is a really comforting dish of pasta with a high-protein and high-fiber punch. It also carries far less saturated fat and cholesterol than the Alfredo sauce Mr. Military Man loves so.

Try this. Then, let me know what you think!

Happy Monday y’all. Make it GREAT!!! (Yes, I know Mondays aren’t typically something we all look forward to, but I’m off today, so I’m a happy girl. This means, I’m attempting to share some Monday happiness with YOU!!!)

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4 Responses to “White Bean and Roasted Garlic Pasta “Sauce””

  1. Melanie August 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    This looks incredible!

  2. Nico January 15, 2013 at 5:48 am #

    I found this recipe of yours and I am impressed with you! I grew up in an Italian family and so, by default, I am VERY picky about people making up recipes and calling it Italian, or cooking Italian recipes wrong, etc. But this, it is very similar to some pasta dishes in Italy. It’s not the same, so don’t feel like it isn’t uniquely yours because it definitely is, but it is actually very good and when i first read it I was very excited to try it! And you mentioned that the original recipe used roasted tomatoes, so next time I might try to add sun-dried tomatoes to this if I can find them. Maybe that will be good also. Thank you for being so creative! This is a great recipe! 🙂

    • Natasha January 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      Nico, Thank you so much for the kind comment. You sure made my day. I’m glad you enjoyed this. Please let me know what you think of the addition of sundried tomatoes if you do try that.

      Have a great (and yummy!) day!!!
      Natasha 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. White Bean Egg Salad « Mindful Munchies with a Military Mrs - August 9, 2012

    […] the success I had with pureeing white beans for my creamy White Bean and Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce, I decided I totally had to use bean purees more often. Also on my mind has been egg salad. Egg […]

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