Leah, the founder of Semolina Pasta, created this recipe as a companion to our March Pantry Discovery Box! It uses everything in the box except for the Fishwife Smoked Trout, which is perfect as a starter, on its own or on a cracker or toast. The other items in the box are Semolina Pasta, If & When Meyer Lemon Paste, Manzanita Manor Dry-Farmed Organic Walnuts, and Butterbean Studios Butter Beans, all women-owned products!
We also love these recipes, which use Butterbeans -- you can substitute the lemon/lemon zest with your If & When Lemon Paste! Heidi Swansons Butterbeans with Kale and Moro Restaurant's Butterbeans with Parsley, Tomatoes and Chorizo
Lemony Pasta with Butter Beans and Walnuts
I lb Semolina Artisanal Pasta
6 oz Manzanita Manor Organic Walnuts
4 oz If & When Preserved Lemon Paste (half the jar)
1 cup Pecorino toscano
1/2 white onion
2 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 bag Butterbean Studios Butter Beans
3 garlic cloves
1 celery stalk
1/2 a white onion
1 sprig rosemary
1 arbol chile
4-6 cups of water or chicken stock
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Salt for your Pasta Water
For the Pasta
For the Beans
Soak the beans for 6-8 hours.
Butter beans have an outer skin, like a fava bean, that you’ll want to remove before cooking. To do this, boil a large pot of salted water and poach the beans for 2 minutes. Remove the beans from the water and shock them in an ice water bath. Let the beans cool fully and peel the skins off of each bean.
While the beans are cooling, dice 1 large carrot, 1 celery stalk, 3 large garlic cloves and half a large white onion. Sauté in a dutch oven with olive oil, 1 sprig of rosemary, and 1 small dry chili. Add the beans and cover with water or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 1-2 hours until tender. (This will vary depending on how long you soaked the beans.) Let the beans cool down.
Put a large pasta pot on to boil for and salt heavily.
- Meanwhile, take the remaining half an onion, cut it in half again, and grab 2 fresh garlic cloves.
Dice the onion as small as you're comfortable and slice the garlic lengthwise as thinly as you're able. Sauté them together in olive oil until they start to turn translucent.
Add your pasta to your pot of salty boiling water.
Before the garlic starts to brown, add the beans and a ladleful of bean liquid to stop the browning. Warm up the beans on a low heat while the pasta cooks. Season with salt and pepper before adding the lemon paste.
The bean liquid is full of flavor and starch. It is a secret weapon for making pasta sauce, so don't be afraid to add more if your sauce starts to thin.
As the pasta nears completion, take 1/2 a cup of pasta water and add it to your beans. Give this a nice stir, moving the pan with the handle as you emulsify with a spoon. Imagine drawing a figure 8 with your spoon as it moves through the sauce.
When the pasta is just shy of al dente, drop it into the beans and toss. Add more bean liquid and/or pasta water if you find your sauce isn't ample enough to stand up to the noodle or it needs to cook some more.
When the pasta is perfectly al dente, remove from heat and add in the walnuts, sprinkle in the pecorino the chopped parsley. Toss again. Taste for salt and pepper and serve.
Be thoughtful about seasoning the dish because the lemon paste is very salty!