30-minute Whole Grain Pasta with White Beans and Tomatoes. A gorgeous and delicious meal that comes together quickly and easily. It’s so simple, yet so rich in flavor, you’ll be making this time and time again.
I’ve been thinking a lot about life. The good and joyful, and the bad and ugly. Why people do the things they do, why people hurt other people, why people take advantage and are mean to other people and why bad things happen to good people.
I have no answers. OK, maybe I have some guesses but I don’t know if they are right. All I know is how I was raised; which wasn’t perfect by any means. My parents were immigrants who came from Korea to the states for a better life and struggled for a good part of it working their butts off because they were just trying to survive.
Their hard work paid off because during most of my childhood through college years, my parents were financially stable and my brother, sister and I were never hungry. We were never without something we needed. My father taught us (drilled into our heads at a very young age) that we are family and that we needed to support and take care of each other because no one else would. He wanted my brother, sister and I to be close. And we were. And we still are.
It was my parents who taught me to be thankful for everything. To be kind. To treat others how you want to be treated. And the fact that we went to church every Sunday as a family, had a huge influence on the way I grew up as well.
Nothing is perfect though. There’s still divorce, there are still marriages around you crumbling, there’s still cheating and abusive people. There are still crazy people out there who do terrible things.
And all I can say is this.
Focus on the good. Focus on the good as much as you can. Because if you don’t, what’s left? There has to be good somewhere. I believe that.
Since our kitchen is being renovated, my family and I are camped out downstairs. Eating off of paper plates and using plastic utensils because most of our dishes are packed away and the few that I left out are being used for other things. I refuse to order pizza and pick up take out for the next three weeks because 1) the selection around my house isn’t that great 2) it’s expensive 3) we’ll get sick of that fast.
So, I’ve been trying to be creative with what I’m cooking, yes, still trying to cook at least 4 to 5 days out of the week. I say heating up a frozen lasagna still counts. If it’s hot and came from someplace in the house, I’ve cooked it. I’ve been baking our Annie’s mac and cheese, making lots of sandwiches, making spaghetti and I even managed to make a baked chicken dish one night, going back and forth into the hallway guest bathroom since there’s no sink in my kitchen currently.
And once we sit down, on the floor, around this little coffee table, which has become the family dinner table for the next few weeks, I look around and know that my family is healthy. We have warm food on the table. We are together. And that’s all that matters right now.
Right before the kitchen renovation started I made this 30-minute Whole Grain Pasta with White Beans and Tomatoes. It’s from Emilie Raffa’s new cookbook, The Clever Cookbook. Emilie writes the beautiful and inspiring food blog, The Clever Carrot, and so you must know this new cookbook of hers is beautiful and clever indeed.
Emilie went to culinary school but it wasn’t until she had kids and went through a rough period (you’ll have to read the introduction to find out what I’m talking about), that she turned to food, started blogging and “chronicled her journey toward a more balanced lifestyle.”
The Clever Cookbook shares Emilie’s get-ahead strategies in the kitchen and “time saving tips for stress-free home cooking.” I don’t know about you, but I think we could all use some of this in our lives.
I love this line from Emilie’s introduction, “More and more of us want to get back to basics, connect with our food and make it ourselves. We just need a way to get there.”
Here’s hoping that you take some time to check out Emilie’s new cookbook!! What I’m making as soon as I am able (in a working kitchen!): Simple Spice Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad, Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Wilted Greens, Chocolate Peanut Butter & Quinoa Truffles, Cauliflower Bolognese, and her Easy Zucchini & Brown Rice Gratin.
and be sure to enter the giveaway down below. . Emilie is also hosting a HUGE giveaway on her blog, so check it out!
- ½ lb. whole-grain angel hair or thin spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, whole
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 cups cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup roughly chopped kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
- ½ cup roughly chopped parsley
- freshly ground pepper
- parmesan cheese
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
- In a large 12-inch skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the whole cherry tomatoes and cook until they begin to burst, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- To the pan, add the beans, kalamata olives, capers and chopped parsley. Add the pasta directly into the pan, and toss well with tongs to coat the pasta.
- To serve, top the pasta with extra olive oil, a few turns of freshly cracked pepper and a generous grating of parmesan cheese.
Recipe published here with permission from author.
For a chance to win a copy of Emilie’s book, please leave me a comment telling me your family’s favorite meal or recipe. Giveaway will be open until Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. Open to residents within the United States only.