Thursday, July 1, 2010

CEIMB: Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans

For this week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe, I got to choose the dish we made! I originally thought that when my time came, I was going to choose something that would require baking. Maybe next time, I will, but for now I thought hey, it’s summer, why not make it easy on everybody and do this simple pasta dish?

I have to say, I partially picked this one because I knew it would force me to step out of my comfort zone. I have been making strides towards eating tomatoes and beans, and this meal would just get me that much more acquainted with both. The funny thing is, I have no problem with the flavor of tomatoes or beans, just the texture. So I wanted to make this; it will help me get closer to conquering my texture phobia.

I liked this meal! I found that the white beans kind of blended right in with the pasta, so I felt like I was still just eating pasta when I got a forkful of beans. The tomatoes, when roasted like this, are so bright and tart and kinda sweet. I just loved them this way! The roasted garlic lent such a nice, smooth flavor to the light lemon juice mixture, and I enjoyed the sprinkling of basil to finish. I only had Thai sweet basil on hand, but I don’t think it really affected anything. It still tastes like the basil we all know and love, at least to me. The other things I did differently: I used a whole (13.25-ounce) box of whole wheat penne, one extra clove of garlic, and only 1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil. I was happy with the changes I made; I don’t think the 8 recommended ounces of pasta would have been enough to feed my crew!

I couldn’t remember if we’re supposed to reprint the recipe when we host the group, so I just decided to copy it below. You can also find the recipe on Food Network's site, here, although that version is slightly different. Thanks to everybody who cooked along with me, and be sure to check out how everybody else did by stopping by the CEIMB blogroll!

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans
Recipe by Ellie Krieger, from The Food You Crave (p. 156-157)
Makes 4 servings

3 large ripe tomatoes (about 2 pounds)
6 large cloves garlic, papery outermost skin removed, but left unpeeled
3 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
One 15.5-ounce can cannellini or other white beans, preferably low-sodium
½ box (8 ounces) penne pasta
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Slice each tomato into 8 wedges and discard the seeds. Put the tomato wedges and garlic in a 9x13-inch roasting pan, toss with 2 Tbsp. of the oil, and sprinkle with ¼ tsp. salt and a few turns of the pepper. Roast, uncovered, until the tomatoes lose their shape and become slightly charred, 35 to 40 minutes.
2. Drain the beans in a large colander in the sink. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta in the colander that contains the beans, so the hot pasta water warms the beans. Return the drained pasta and beans to the pasta pot.
3. When the tomatoes are done, carefully pick out the garlic cloves, squeeze the garlic out of the skin into a small bowl, and mash with a fork. Add the lemon juice, the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, the remaining ¼ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper, and stir to combine.
4. Transfer the roasted tomatoes to the pasta pot, add the garlic-lemon mixture, the basil, and some salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to combine. Serve topped with the Parmesan.


  1. Good morning! Just wanted to stop by and say that we loved the pasta. I made it last night. I didn't really love the beans in it though - could really take them or leave them. You know? But all in all, it felt like a good healthy dish. Thanks for hosting us this week! I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

  2. Looks delicious.
    We also really enjoyed your pick of the week. Great thinking about the summer and easiness of preparation.
    Love it!

  3. Thanks for a great pick, we liked this a lot, well, Matt picked out all the beans, of course, but teenage boys are like that dontchaknow. Loved the light dressing for summer, no heavy sauce is always great with me...definitely going to make it again (probably without the beans in deference to Matt). Your photos are great...and it looks just wonderful.

  4. This is a great choice. You knew what was right for most of us. Even though, I made the wrong recipe but it was similar and it was good. Don't ask. You can read it on my blog.

  5. This was such a great choice! I am not usually a fan of tomatoes so I was a little hesitant about this one, but I absolutely loved this dish.

    I agree with you about the basil - I have used traditional basil in Thai dishes before (couldn't find Thai basil) and don't really notice a difference.

  6. great pick! All the flavors were a hit at my house!

  7. Just stopping in to say that we really enjoyed this recipe choice! Thank you!

  8. Thanks for hosting this week's CEiMB (or last week I guess now lol) recipe. I LOVE that you picked something to embrace seasonal produce - great presentation!

    I am still learning all the things I need to do as part of the group so it's good to know I need to link to the host and post the recipe too :)