For my usual weeknight pasta I keep things simple with spaghetti, even though it can be a bit boring. When I stick to my routine, I don’t add to my random noodle collection. I have a shelf of partial boxes of pasta—the result of buying specific shapes for single recipes. I always end up with an odd amount that’s too small to feed my family—two adults and a three-year-old who is convinced pasta is its own food group.
To spring clean my kitchen, I made this mixed pasta with baby greens, beans and walnuts. Even though it breaks every pasta rule, all you have to do when cooking multiple shapes in a single pot is to first start with the noodle that has the longest cook-time and work your way to the one that’s the quickest. After that I tossed the warm pasta with garlic-infused olive oil, arugula, spinach, cannellini beans, walnuts, Parmesan and lemon zest.
Pasta with Baby Greens, Beans and Walnuts
Adapted from Everyday Food April 2008
12 ounces short pasta (farfalle, rotelle, fusilli, orecchiette, penne)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1-15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts
1 ounce grated Parmesan plus shaved Parmesan for serving
Zest of half a lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cook the pasta until al dente according to package instructions. If you are using multiple shapes, cook them in one pot of salted boiling water starting with the pasta that takes the longest and adding shapes per their recommended cook-time, with the quickest being added last. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta to a large bowl.
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant and golden brown.
Stir the garlic-infused olive oil, beans, walnuts, Parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper into the pasta. Top with shaved Parmesan before serving.