Let me tell you a little about myself. I love tulips, trashy novels, my kids and beans. Especially white beans. I could eat them every day and have been eating them every day for the last week. I made a BIG pot of white beans from dry beans and have been using them in cooking all week. Pretty soon, I ran out of ideas. I was digging through the fridge to see what I had for inspiration; Chicken, spinach, beans. There had to be something out there with all that in it. Lucky for me I came across Love and Olive Oil which had the answer to all of my legume prayers. I made a few adjustments to fit my pantry, and I will admit that I didn’t use any bacon since the beans already had plenty of meatiness to them since they were cooked with kielbasa. I assumed you would be using canned beans, so I left the bacon in. If you have some fresh tomatoes and spinach laying around use those instead, but canned tomatoes and frozen spinach work great!
This super pantry friendly meal is SUPERB. Even my two-year old toddlers ate it, and they are quite the critics.
Chicken, Spinach and White Bean Pasta
adapted from Love and Olive Oil
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 cup bacon minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 (16-oz) can white (navy/cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained well
1/4 to 1 cup white wine
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper
1 lb rigatoni
5 cloves garlic chopped
1 lb spinach, stems removed, leaves chopped or 1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 roasted chicken breasts, cubed (optional)
2 tbsp butter
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute bacon in olive oil until lightly golden brown. Add onion and red pepper flakes and continue to saute until onion is golden brown. Gently add beans, and stir. Add wine and parsley and simmer about 15 minutes or until thickened. If mixture gets too dry keep adding white wine. Add chicken and toss until just heated through. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente; drain.
Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned. Add spinach and saute until wilted. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes begin to simmer. Add butter and toss until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
Return drained pasta to pot. Add bean ragu and spinach mixture and combine very well. Add Parmesan cheese, toss to coat and serve immediately.