Beans and Greens Alla Vodka
Pasta alla vodka is a classic because it harmoniously combines each ingredient's unique qualities: the spiciness of red pepper flakes and vodka, the sweetness of tomatoes, and the cream's richness. This delightful combination is just as effective when paired with beans and greens.You can pair chickpeas or white beans with kale or any other dark leafy greens, such as Swiss chard or broccoli rabe. The finished dish can be refrigerated for up to three days and enjoyed independently, with some crusty bread for dipping or served over pasta.
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 finely chopped yellow onion
- 4 finely chopped garlic cloves
- Kosher salt
- 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
- ¼ cup of vodka
- ½ teaspoon of red-pepper flakes
- 2 15-ounce cans of white beans (such as cannellini or Great Northern), or chickpeas, drained but not rinsed
- 1 bunch of kale with ribs removed and leaves torn or coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup of heavy cream
- Grated Parmesan cheese as desired
- Start by heating the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, season with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they become tender, which usually takes 3 to 5 minutes. Now, introduce the tomato paste, vodka, and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook while stirring until the tomato paste takes on a slightly deeper color and begins to adhere to the pot's bottom, which should take about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Next, add 2 cups of water, beans, and kale. Season with a pinch of salt and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Lower the heat to maintain the simmer, cover the pot, and let it cook until the liquid becomes flavorful and the kale reaches a tender consistency, which should take approximately 7 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Taste the dish; if it requires more salt, you can incorporate some grated Parmesan cheese. Serve the dish with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan on top.