Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pantry Staples and Sulking Appliances: Fettuccine with Artichokes, White Beans and Kale

Artichoke, kale, and white bean fettucine (with breadcrumb topping)

Our refrigerator has been a bit of a jerk these last three weeks. Like it's going through some teenage, contrarian appliance phase where it doesn't actually pack its bags and leave, but instead gradually stops doing what is expected of it. Mostly it sulks in the corner listening to Smiths records and thinking about how unfair it is that it has to keep our food cold all the time. Every minute! Of every day! Such a travesty.

Despite the aforementioned Smith's reference, I have actually been referring to it as "Disco Fridge" since the problem seems rooted in the exterior controls which have been flashing on and off. It would be delightfully funky if I wasn't distracted by the fact that my soymilk turns to yuck rapidly because of the fridge's lukewarm internal temperature. Luckily, the whole thing is still under warranty. Unluckily, the replacement part took a while to come in and so I've been soymilk-less for over a week now, not wanting to buy food that will go off before I can even get through a litre of it.

Artichoke, kale, and white bean fettucine

As a result of all this, we've been eating a bit more restaurant food than normal, and when I've been cooking it's been mostly with non-perishables and tough-ass vegetables that don't mind a bit of fluctuating temperature in the crisper. Hence this dish, based loosely on this recipe from Real Simple which is actually vegan without any alterations, but didn't contain enough vegetables for me. I also amped up the breadcrumb topping by adding ground almonds which, along with the white beans, makes for two of those protein sources that omnivores are always asking us about.

While I'm being a boring healthy person (why has no one made t-shirts that say "Vegan Killjoy"? I would totally buy one.) I wanted to say I don't normally use white pasta when whole wheat is available. I just happened to have a bunch of white fettuccine in my pantry, so waste not want not and all that.

Oh, and look what my parents got me for my birthday this year! Isn't it pretty? Don't you just want to make out with it?

hello, lover

Where was I? Right, the recipe. Here it is.

Fettuccine with Artichokes, White Beans, and Kale

3/4 pound fettuccine
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts (not the kind that are packed in oil)
1 1/2 cups cooked white kidney beans
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup kale, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste

for the topping:

1 piece of bread (I actually used a ciabatta hotdog roll because it was lonely and needed to be eaten)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil

In a food processor, combine bread and almonds. Process until mixture is small crumbs. Then add herbs and oil and pulse to combine. Set aside.

De-stem and chop kale and then place it in a large colander in your sink.

Cook the pasta in lightly salted water until it is tender, then pour the water and pasta into the colander with the kale. This will quickly cook the kale so you don't have to worry about over-cooking your beans and artichokes.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.

Add garlic to the pan and saute for one minute, then add artichoke hearts (I halved mine to make them more manageable) and white beans. Cook until heated through, then reduce heat to medium low.

Add the kale and pasta to the pan and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with topping sprinkled over top. Eat twice as much as your husband does (optional).

Serves six.


As you can see from this photo, there was plenty leftover for lunches, which I love. And with the fridge repair guy coming on Tuesday (fingers crossed) to give our refrigerator its much-needed attitude adjustment, we just might have a place to keep leftovers cold again.



foodfeud said...

Very funny description of yr fridge, even if the situation itself is frustrating.
I LOVE the t-shirt idea too; some one craftier and more clever than I needs to get on that. I almost sharpied a "No thanks, I'm vegan" grumpy toned slogan on my t-shirt but held off. Boring healthy grumps unite.
Le Creuset pots are totally make out material. Very nice of yr folks.

peggy said...

great dinner! makes me hungry :)

ahimsablog said...

I love the combination of white beans, kale, and pasta. I bet this would've been really good with nutritional yeast as well. :)

Esen said...

Hi jennifer!

This looks delicious! can't wait to try it. and mixing the almonds with the bread crumbs is genius.

also, just wanted to let you know i voted for you, as best blog for the vegnews veggie awards! your blog is one of my favorites so keep up the great work!


Jennifer (It Ain't Meat, Babe) said...

Thanks, Esen! I'm so excited that I made the nominations list!

Mama said...

I absolutely love the addition of almonds to the breadcrumbs. Pure brilliance!

the [sugar] apothecary said...

OHHH NO! Icky soymilk is an awful thing, my friend. I usually discover it mid-pour into a fresh hot cup of coffee or a bowl of pretty berries and cereal :( But your disco fridge does sound rather festive, even if it is non-functional. Who needs a freezer when you can have a light show?!

Your super veggie fettuccine looks amaaaaazing, and yes, I do kind of want to make out with your Le Creuset. Don't tell anyone.

Cathy said...

Great recipe. I made this but sauteed the kale in olive oil instead of boiling it. Really good!

Jennifer (It Ain't Meat, Babe) said...

Awesome! That's great to hear!

Oh Coco said...

It does feel good to use up random ingredients from your fridge and cupboards sometimes. Although the results can be 50% suprising/ 50% epic fail!

Sara @ Plant-Powered Mom said...

This looks great - and so easy! I'm always looking for new uses for kale too!

I totally feel you about the fridge. Mine is tiny and the light hasn't worked in like two years (yes, I've tried changing the bulb - still doesn't work).

The great news is that we bought a new fridge last weekend and it gets delivered tonight (insert singing choir here)!!

Can't wait!!

Thanks for the fun post!

Elise said...

This looks so yummy! I have a slight obsession with the pasta/kale combo. Don't ask me why I just think they're great together!

KellyC said...

Totally unrelated but I was just reading my newest copy of VegNews and say It Ain't Meat Babe! Congrats! So cool to see someone from Ottawa published like that!

Jade said...

Oh my, that looks delish xx

zoom said...

I'm making it tonight - I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks Jen!

Zoom said...

I made it tonight and GC and I both agreed it was a keeper. Thanks!

Jennifer (It Ain't Meat, Babe) said...

Wonderful! I'm so glad you both liked it!

corner pantry said...

Great dinner! This makes me hungry :)