Creamy, simple, filling and wintery. I’ve always been fond of white beans especially Great Northern beans. I used them in my White Bean Alfredo Pasta with Mushrooms dish and made it during my trip in Paris. And these huge squiggly pasta, ‘Vesuvio’ are a favorite of mine, we discovered them at a small local produce & retail shop called, ‘Terroirs d’Avenir‘ located on the quiet Rue de Nil in the heart of Paris’ 2nd arrondissement, only a few minutes walk from our apartment. I will reveal more about this amazing shop in the next few posts.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions or until al dente; drain.
- While the pasta is cooking, drain the beans through a strainer set over a bowl. Place the beans in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add stock and water to the pot with the beans, turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil. Let the beans soften for about 15 to 20 minutes. Skim off any foam and skins. The beans should be very tender.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet and add the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms until browned and tender, about 3 to 5 minutes each side. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Transfer mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat, add the shallots, cook, stirring often until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute or so, until the garlic is fragrant. Add a ladleful of cooked beans with 1/2 cup liquid from the pot and slowly mash them. Add another ladleful of beans and liquid from the pot with the beans and again stir and smash the beans continuously until absorbed. Repeat this process until all the stock from the pot has been used. The white bean sauce will thicken eventually. Season with salt and pepper.
- Just before serving, stir in the chopped parsley. Serve over cooked pasta, topping each portion with sautéed mushrooms. Add nutritional yeast if needed for a bit of cheezy flavor.
To make quick garlic & parsley bread: We used 2 French baguettes and cut them in half lengthwise and cut them in a variety of sizes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine 1/4 cup unsalted vegan butter, 2 finely minced garlic cloves, pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley. Make sure the vegan butter is at room temperature and soft enough to work with. Using a spatula or pastry brush, scrap some of the butter mixture onto the sliced bread. Broil on medium heat few minutes in the oven until golden brown (watch the oven!)
Advance preparation: If the sauce is too thick, add more water. If the sauce is too thin, let it cook longer since it will reduce. Add additional spices accordingly.
Keeping: Store the cooked pasta and creamy sauce separately in a covered container and for the best flavor and texture, eat the sauce within 2 days. After refrigeration, the sauce will thicken, so reheat the sauce gently in a small saucepan over low heat on the stove and add a few tablespoons of unsweetened dairy-free milk or water to thin the sauce out.