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Year of the Noodle: Week 32

Thud.

That’s how this dish lands in your stomach.  With a thud.  Cream and cheese and beans and ugh.  So thick and rich.  A bit of a tummy ache in the making.

When I first saw this recipe, I mistakenly thought it didn’t have cream or cheese in it.  I thought it used the beans to make a creamy sauce.  As I was making it, I realized the last few ingredients were in fact cream and Parmesan cheese.  Before I added those, this sauce seemed like it was going in a good direction.  Afterward, it was like eating alfredo sauce with an extra thickness.

Serious thud.  Unless you like that sort of feeling for hours after a meal, I’d skip this one.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound leeks (about 1 bunch), sliced and cleaned
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth, (3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 12 ounces fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley, (optional)
Directions
  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-low heat. Add leeks, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add beans, broth, and sage to pan; with a potato masher, mash about one third of beans. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until sauce has thickened but is still soupy, about 10 minutes. Cool; transfer to a covered container, and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 2 minutes less than package instructions suggest. Drain; rinse under cold water until cool.Transfer to a bowl, and toss with remaining tablespoon oil to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to overnight.
  4. In a large (5-quart) saucepan over medium heat, bring sauce and lemon juice to a simmer. Stir in cream and Parmesan. Add pasta; cook, stirring, until heated through, 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley and more cheese, if desired.

Source: Martha Stewart

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