Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gluten Free Pasta with Beans & Greens in a Creamy Lemon Sauce

Do you ever have days where you're, well, just hungry? You know, when cheese and an apple isn't going to cut it? You feel like you need something with some nourishment? That's how it was for me around lunchtime a couple of days ago. I didn't want to spend a lot of time cooking lunch, though. Quite honestly, I didn't think I really had anything other than a can of soup to even make for lunch. But, I started rummaging through the fridge and cabinets and found a few ingredients that I thought I might be able to turn into a decent meal. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?

Let's do the math...

(*Gluten-free Quinoa pasta, garbanzo beans, kale, lemon, Parmesan cheese and butter)


(half & half, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes)



*Let me give you a heads-up on g-free pasta... The rice pasta is not very good. It cooks up all gummy and nasty. This Quinoa pasta is awesome! You'd never know it wasn't regular pasta. It also comes in different shapes like rotini twists and macaroni elbows. I use that to make homemade mac & cheese. Corn pasta is also very good. And, if you live near a Trader Joe's, their corn pasta is only $1.50 a pack. That is awesome pricing for gluten-free pasta. Moving on...

This meal is an excellent example of why it's a good idea to have a decently stocked pantry. Even when you're in a pinch you can come up with something good. :0)

Here's how to make it:

Get water boiling and pasta cooking.

In the meantime, melt about 2 Tbsp. of butter in a skillet and begin cooking kale (or whatever green you have on hand) over med-low heat. This is the last of the kale from my garden and I probably only had about a cup.  I would have used more if I'd had it. You use as much as you like.

Once the greens have cooked for about 5 minutes, add your drained and rinsed chickpeas. Once again, this is the only bean I had on hand. Great northern beans would be excellent. But, use what you have. The key is to get some protein in there.

When the past is close to being done, add a few red pepper flakes (or a lot) to the beans and greens and salt and pepper it. If it looks dry, add about another tablespoon of butter. Next add about 3 ounces of half & half, cream or milk and give it a good stir. You want to give it enough of a sauce to coat the pasta without having it swim in it.

Drain the pasta when done.  Toss with the beans and greens mixture.  Squeeze the juice of one lemon over it and top with some Parmesan cheese.  Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Oh. My. Goodness.  This was so good!  Isaac's kept saying, "Mmmm.  Mmmmm.  This is so good.  Thank you, Mama." the whole time he was eating it. That makes this Mama's heart happy.

So, the next time you need some soul food, take a gander at your pantry.  You just might have more to cook than you realized.

Do you ever find yourself cooking on the fly?

I'm linking this post at These Chicks Cooked.


  1. Um, I'm so not allowed to cook on the fly. Nope. It's forbidden. They are still handing down the stories....shudder.

    That's why I'm thankful for your blog and others like it!! A lifesaver to those like me.

    1. You're so funny! I need to hear some of those stories when we're on vacation. And, remind me to tell you about the time I made grapefruit chicken. :0)

  2. Funny, we really like brown rice pasta! With a good sauce on it I think you can hardly tell the difference from wheat pasta. I used to buy the Tinkyada and I never had it come out gummy. Different tastes, I suppose. :)

    1. Meghan,

      I've never bought Tinkyada before. Maybe it was the brand I was using?

    2. Maybe! I also think the Trader Joe's brand is good. With both you have to make sure not to overcook, but as long as you don't we've never had it come out bad.

  3. I will have to try the Quinoa pasta. I saw that but was not sure if it was ok.

  4. Hello friend!
    So nice to hear from you!!! I think about you often! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! I am a "grandma"...but I'm called "GiGi"!!! Our first little grandson was born Nov.19th. He is the MOST ADORABLE little guy!
    All else is well....working on writing my book this year!
    What is your new project? Soap making? Lotion making? I'm intrigued! And thanks for the tip about quinoa pasta...I'll have to give it a try!
    Have a most beautiful & blessed day my dear!
    xoxoxo Kathleen

  5. That sounds YUMMO! I noticed your comment above about grapefruit, I made an old Betty Crocker Lemon Chicken substituting lime (not knowing it was 3x the strength of lemon juice) and the finished product was so sour nobody could eat it, lol.

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