I liked the sounds of this recipe because it is a sort of risotto made with spaghetti. It just sounded so interesting.. Plus I love white beans. Once she threw the word "creamy" in the mix I was already salivating!
It is a super simple recipe to make, not very many ingredients, it just takes time. You need to be on top of things and watch your pot so you can add the chicken stock when needed.
I always have cannellini beans on hand so I substituted those for the Roman beans the recipe called for. I also left the carrots out. Since I am a huge bean fan I added 2 cans rather than the one can the recipe called for and it was a good thing because I kept nibbling on beans the whole time the meal was cooking!
Rachael really did hit the nail on the head by saying a bowl of this was a nice warm hug for your tummy. I know the weather is getting warmer so it may not seem like you need a "warm hug" but if it is cool or you just feel a bit under the weather, make this one. You won't be sorry you did!
Creamy Spaghetti and Beans
5 to 6 cups of chicken stock
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 pound pancetta chopped into small dice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound spaghetti
i medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, cut into a small dice
1 fresh bay leaf
5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 (15 ounce) can Roman beans or small white beans (recommended: Goya brand)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine, eyeball it
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
a generous handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Place the stock in a sauce pot and warm it over medium heat then reduce to a simmer.
Heat EVOO and butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta to brown slightly. Next add the garlic and the spaghetti and toast noodles lightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions and carrots, bay leaf, and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Soften veggies a bit, 5 minutes. Add wine and allow it to be completely absorbed. Add beans and then a few ladles of stock and stir the pasta. Keep adding stock a few ladles at a time allowing liquid to be mostly absorbed before adding more, as if you were preparing a risotto. When liquids are absorbed and spaghetti is cooked to al-dente, 12 to 15 minutes, stir in cheese. Adjust salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir another minute. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems. Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with lots of parsley.