March 7, 2012

Use What You Got: Cannellini Bean, Escarole and Egg Linguini

Tonight I returned from work way too lazy to go to the market and figure out what to make so I decided to create dinner out of whatever ingredients I had laying around the kitchen.  Here’s what I had:  ½ can of cannellini beans, small head of escarole, chicken stock, basil, eggs, parmesan cheese, garlic and a shallot.  So I invented this pasta dish which came out pretty darn good and decided to share it with you all.

Makes 2 servings

1 handful of linguine (eyeball a 2 serving portion in a dinner bowl)
5-6 leaves of escarole, sliced in strips
1 cup cannellini beans (or half a can)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 big clove garlic, minced
1 egg, whisked
4-5 large basil leaves, chopped
1 cup salty chicken stock
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Olive Oil
1 tablespoon butter (optional)

Boil a pot of water for the linguine.  Once the water is boiling vigorously, add in the pasta and some salt and set a alarm for the cooking time stated on the box.  Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta (it has starch in it which will serve as a thickener for the bean and escarole mixture).

While the pasta is cooking, add a teaspoon or two of olive oil to a pan and heat on medium-high heat.  Add in shallots and cook until soft, a few minutes.  Stir in garlic and heat until fragrant, about a minute.  Throw in the escarole, beans and chicken stock and let reduce for a few minutes.  Add  in red pepper flakes, a nice pinch of salt (only if necessary; your chicken stock might be salty enough) and ¼ cup of the water that you cooked your pasta in.  Let the liquid cook and reduce for a couple more minutes.  Then whisk the egg and pour it slowly into the bean/escarole mixture while stirring vigorously until the egg is cooked, about 1 minute or less.  Immediately turn off the heat and add in the basil, butter and about ¼ cup of freshly shaved parmesan cheese.  Mix well and serve topped with extra parmesan cheese (optional) and fresh cracked pepper.

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