We’re resuming normal scheduling this week by announcing the winner of our first ever blog contest. This summer, our beans recipe contest post has gotten a lot of visits, and my kids have (mostly willingly) tried 20 new dishes, most of which were enjoyed by at least half of us. Thank you so much to everyone who submitted recipes–we have definitely added several of them to our regular rotation.
The winner of this summer’s bean recipe contest is Sarah, who shared her family’s favorite Pasta with White Bean Sauce recipe! Sarah requested Loving the Little Years as her prize. We’re pretty big Rachel Jankovic fans here at E2S, so we’re thrilled at her choice.
Click the link above to get the original recipe, which originated from Katie at Kitchen Stewardship. (Sarah tells me that this recipe doubles easily and freezes well!) And here are my notes on it…
The first time I made it, I followed the recipe and used whole wheat flour to make my roux and put in the diced green chiles she called for (though only half as much so my kids wouldn’t complain about it being “too spicy”). The second time, I used regular ol’ all-purpose flour (which I find makes a smoother white sauce than whole wheat) and added nutmeg, salt, and pepper instead of the chiles to make it more of a traditional alfredo. I’ll probably keep playing around with seasonings from the excellent base recipe. A key for me was using my immersion stick blender to puree the beans into the white sauce before I added the cheese. Yes, my kids’ favorite beans meal was the one with no discernible beans–but it still contains all the fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. I find that white beans are mild flavored to begin with, but the taste did nicely meld into the sauce. The first time, I let my kids pick out whole wheat elbow macaroni (which, combined with whole wheat white sauce, was a little on the “healthy” tasting side for my husband and me, to be honest!). I kept the sauce pretty thick so it ended up a bit more like a hearty mac-n-cheese than fettuccine alfredo. The second time, we used angel hair pasta and a thinner sauce that felt more like a traditional alfredo. Both times, the kids loved it!
The best thing about this meal is that it is easy and fast. Honestly, I can get the sauce pulled together in the time it takes to heat water and cook the pasta. All of the ingredients are things I normally have on hand, and it would be even cheaper if I used dried beans and prepped those ahead of time. What are you waiting for? Make it for dinner tonight!
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