Friday, April 1, 2011

But We Would Eat Kraft Dinner...

Baseball season starts this weekend, so Dave has practice most Thursday evenings. When he's not home for dinner, I experiment with whatever we have in the house, trying to use up the fresh produce on hand and make something that he may not like. Last night, it was a little weirder than usual, but the surprising result was quite yummy! Oddly enough, the taste and texture resembled baked macaroni and cheese. I'll do the best I can to write a recipe, since I wasn't paying much attention to quantities. 

Not Really Mac & Cheese

1/2 cup Pasta - I used Barilla Piccolini Mini Ziti
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Butter
1 thin slice of Prosciutto
2 tbsp chopped Red Onion
1 can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp Dried Rosemary
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 cup Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere
5 Asparagus spears
Handful of Green Beans or Haricots Verts

Bring a wide chef's pan or skillet of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to desired softness (for the Piccolini, 7 minutes). Drain pasta into a colander and rinse thoroughly with cool water. In the same pan, add olive oil and butter, and swirl to coat. Add prosciutto and red onion and cook over medium heat until the onion begins to soften, stirring often to keep from browning. Place beans, onions, prosciutto, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Some broth added to the mix will make this move more quickly. 

Bring another pan of salted water to boil for the veggies. (I started both pans of water at the same time, and just let this one boil while I did everything else.) Add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes, then add the green beans and cook 3-4 minutes more. Drain and rinse well with cool water. Slice the veggies into bite-sized pieces.

Add the bean mixture back to the pan over medium heat, stir in the remaining broth, and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Stir in shredded Gruyere until it's all melted into the mixture. Stir in the pasta and veggies and heat through. I sprinkled each bowl with a shredded Asiago/Parmesan/Romano mix that we keep in the house because it makes everything better.

End to end, this only took about 20 minutes. I brought the leftovers for lunch today, and found that stirring in a tbsp of water before reheating was a must.