Joy Magazine

Pasta with herbs and green beans

Super-fast pasta relies on a few tricks
You can't beat a pasta dish when you need to toss together a quick dinner. (William Archie/MCT)MCT

Dried pasta is the ultimate got-to-have pantry staple. It's ideal because most dried pastas can be ready to eat in less than 10 minutes. If you're really in a hurry, fresh pasta can be ready in about three minutes.

While the pasta cooks, you can multitask as you prepare the other ingredients.

The most time-consuming part of this recipe is prepping the herbs. You can use any variety; just make sure they're fresh, not dried. Keep in mind, too, that sage and rosemary are fairly strong and can easily overpower a dish.

When preparing fresh herbs, gently rinse them under cool water but don't soak them. Dry them well with paper towels before chopping. It's best to chop them just before you add them to the recipe.

Finally, grate the Parmesan fresh. This pumps up the flavor, and you will use less of the pricey cheese.

Ingredients:

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

8 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1/2 cup vegetable broth or fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

12 ounces linguine, fettuccine or spaghetti

2 cups frozen, mixed green and yellow beans

1/2 cup packed, fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup loosely packed, fresh, flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup snipped, fresh chives

1/3 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt water, if desired.

Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, sage, oregano, rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the broth and wine and heat on high to boiling. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Remove from heat.

While sauce cooks, add the pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions. During last 2 minutes of cooking, add the frozen beans to pasta.

Reserving 1/4 cup pasta-cooking water, drain pasta and beans. Return them to pot. Stir in wine mixture along with the basil, parsley, chives and reserved pasta water. Toss until well-combined.

Divide pasta among 4 serving plates or bowls and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Garnish with parsley sprigs. Makes 4 servings.

— Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping magazine's May 2011 issue.

Per serving: 446 calories (20 percent from fat), 10 grams fat (3 grams sat. fat), 69 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams protein, 370 mg sodium, 88 mg cholesterol, 5 grams fiber.


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