I made this Pasta with Greens and Lima Beans in an awful hurry the other night. I was nursing a cold but I was also craving a big, comforting bowl of pasta with great texture and flavor. It had to be nutritious enough to see me through the illness, and flavorful enough to appeal to my hibernating tastebuds. But above all, it had to be something that didn’t keep me in the kitchen for more than 30 minutes, tops.
So into the pot went a bunch of Yu Choy greens that I had picked up at the Asian store. It’s a veggie from the broccoli family with thin, edible stems and it’s very, very tasty. You can substitute spinach or kale if you can’t find this or don’t want to use it. I also had on hand a bag of frozen lima beans that I zapped in the microwave for a few seconds and in they went.
The rest of the ingredients were pantry staples: garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley, ground black pepper and a few walnuts for crunch and more protein. I used orzo because it is always the one pasta I can count to have on hand– I dunno, it’s something about that rice-y shape. But you could substitute another pasta– bow ties would be fabulous here, or even spaghetti broken into 2-inch bits.
I need to crawl back under the covers now, but before I go here’s the recipe. Enjoy the weekend, all!
- 8 ounces of orzo pasta (feel free to substitute another pasta, like bow ties or spaghetti. You can use gluten-free pasta to make the recipe gluten-free)
- 2 cups of frozen lima beans. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and zap for 6 minutes. Set aside.
- 1 big bunch of Yu Choy greens, chopped. Use spinach or kale as a substitute.
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 heaping tbsp capers
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted in the microwave for two minutes, then chopped into smaller pieces
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- Cook the pasta per package directions until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a saucepan, add the olive oil and garlic and heat them together, allowing the garlic flavor to infuse the oil.
- As the garlic starts to turn color and becomes lightly blonde, add the red pepper flakes and ground black pepper.
- Stir for a few seconds, then add the chopped Yu Choy greens and salt to taste. Stir thoroughly. Don't be alarmed if the greens look like a lot-- they will wilt down quite a bit.
- Cover the saucepan and let the greens cook about five minutes until they have wilted and cooked down. Add the lima beans and stir well to mix.
- Add the zest, capers, lemon juice, walnuts and parsley. Now add the cooked pasta and stir everything together.Check salt and add more if needed.
- You can eat as is, or drizzle some more extra virgin olive oil before serving, if you don't mind the extra calories (hey, EVOO is good for you). It's delicious either way.