I'm positive that this isn't an original thought, merely original to me. However, that being said, I did stumble into a delicious and embarrassingly easy dinner last night. Earlier in the week I had a lovely dinner at Bacchus on Main where I had just the thing for comfort induced carb loading: an enormous bowl of penne and white beans tousled with pesto sauce.
Several days later, while looking through my fridge for something to make for dinner with the beautiful shrimp I'd just scored, I remembered that soothing pasta , and what I've always considered to be a great affinity between shrimp and white beans.
I said this was embarrassing, and it is, but what transpired was such an inspired take on Pasta E Fagioli, despite being basically an open box, can and container special, that I really do think it deserves passing along. So, having taken care to send the telltale detritus to the recycle bin with all due haste, and after much consideration, I heartily recommend this new Clare classic.
Go snag some gorgeous shrimp and this array of prepared foods and you'll be amazed at the reception this dish gets. I suggest peeling the shrimp yourself, not only because it's fresher and less expensive, but you'll feel more virtuous if you've done a little something to get your hands dirty in the preparation of this cozy feast.
Pesto Pasta with Cannellini Beans and Shrimp
serves 4 hungry people
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 6-ounce container of pesto sauce (or homemade)
1 lb. penne pasta
1 15.5-ounce can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Reggiano cheese and additional for serving
Preheat oven to 400 and place water on to boil for the pasta.
Place shrimp on a cookie sheet, toss with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and bake for about 8 minutes until the shrimp is cooked and pink but not overdone. Set them aside.
Cook pasta according to directions. When it's al dente, drain and put it in a large bowl with the beans and pesto sauce and toss well to combine.
Put shrimp, almonds and Parmesan Reggiano on top and gently toss. Serve immediately with additional cheese to pass.