Italian Greens and Beans Recipe
My Italian mother-in-law taught me to cook her mother’s favorite dish. This basic recipe is fast, nutritious, and works with all kinds of vegetables. We prefer to make it with white Cannellini or Great Northern beans, cooked until they’re falling apart, and served over firmly cooked pasta. It’s also great on brown rice or made with other kinds of beans. Add more water, and it becomes a flavorful soup that goes well with whole grain bread.
- 4 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- hot pepper flakes
- 1 can or 2 cups softly cooked beans
- 1-2 pounds of chopped vegetables such as rapini, Swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, kale, escarole, or zucchini
- salt and pepper to taste
- grated Romano cheese
Sauté sliced garlic and hot pepper in oil under low heat until the garlic starts to brown. Add 1 can (without preservatives) or 2 cups of softly cooked beans including the liquid. I usually use white beans, but lentils or any other beans work well. Add chopped vegetables and simmer until they’re cooked but still firm. Add salt and pepper. If you want to serve this over pasta or rice, add just enough water to make a thick gravy. If you want to serve as a soup, add more water. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on the top of each bowl and serve with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.