3/4 lb whole wheat penne pasta
2 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups baby spinach
zest of one lemon
juice of two lemons
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or more to taste)
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water. When cooked, drain and reserve one half cup of cooking liquid. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat the 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add the minced garlic and saute for two minutes, until toasted and fragrant (be careful not to burn!).
3. Add the cooked pasta, beans, sundried tomatoes and spinach and cook until spinach wilts.
4. Add the lemon zest, juice, salt, cayenne, remaining olive oil and cheese and toss well. Add some of the cooking water if the mixture seems dry. Serves 4.
Nutrition Notes: Cannellini beans are white kidney beans and are low-fat, high in fiber and provide magnesium, fiber, iron (twice as much as beef) and folate. These beans also contain a high amount of molybdenum which is known to help detoxify sulfites. High sulfite levels are known to cause headaches and rapid heart beats so cannellini beans may help decrease these symptoms as well as the instances of esophageal and stomach cancers.
Taste Test: Like I said this is one of my favorite meatless dishes. Make sure you make the pasta al denta because I think that makes a huge difference in the texture of the entire dish. It would be easy to sub regular tomatoes instead of sun-dried tomatoes as well. Get creative!