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Three Way Garlic Pasta with Beans and Peppers

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Calories 324; Total Fat 4g; Carbohydrates 57g

class="recipe_desc_text">Don't be afraid of the amount of garlic in this recipe. For one thing, garlic is great for your heart and helps boost your immunity to colds and flu. Most of the garlic in this recipe is also cooked to tame its bite and bring out its natural sweetness and depth. Orange peppers add loads of vitamin C and A and white beans contribute fiber and protein to this low-fat but satisfying vegetarian entre.

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Photograph By: Romulo Yanes

Nutritional Information

Amounts per serving plus the % Daily Value (DV) based on a 2,000 calorie diet:

  • 324 Calories (16%)
  • 4g Total fat (7%)
  • 1g Saturated Fat (5%)
  • 3mg Cholesterol (1%)
  • 863mg Sodium (36%)
  • 57g Carbohydrate (19%)
  • 7g Fiber (28%)
  • 14g Protein (28%)

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  • 1 1/2 medium heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 orange bell peppers
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach
  • 10 ounces campanelli (bellflower) pasta or penne
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (19-oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (2/3 oz)


Reserve 6 large garlic cloves. Put remaining cloves in 2 cups cold water, then simmer in a small saucepan, covered, until garlic is very soft, about 30 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup garlic cooking liquid, then drain garlic in a sieve.

Pure cooked garlic with reserved cooking liquid and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth.

While garlic simmers, roast peppers on racks of gas burners over high heat, turning with tongs, until skins are blackened, 10 to 12 minutes (or broil peppers on a broiler pan about 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, then let stand 20 minutes. Peel peppers, discarding stems and seeds, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces.

Mince 2 reserved garlic cloves with thyme and remaining teaspoon salt using a large knife. Transfer along with spinach to a large serving bowl.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted wateruntil al dente.

Finely chop remaining 4 garlic cloves and cook in oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add beans and garlic pure to skillet and bring to a simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta. Add pasta, sauce, vinegar, and cheese to spinach and garlic in serving bowl and toss to combine. (Add some of reserved cooking water if mixture is dry.) Serve immediately.

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