Penne Pasta with White Beans and Tomatoes
This simple vegetarian dish is so fragrant with basil that it strongly piques the appetite. It makes an excellent primi piatti before a secondo of fried fish. Either red or white wine to accompany is appropriate. We drank a 2007 Jaboulet Côtes du Rhône, and ate the pasta simply with a side dish of watercress.
500g penne or tortiglione pasta
1 400g tin of cannellini or flageolet beans, drained and rinsed
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
500g ripe tomatoes, diced
a handful of pitted Kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
1 small bunch fresh basil, julienned
salt and pepper
dry white wine
This is a very quick sauce, so start it only a few minutes before your pasta is al dente. Heat a dash of olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and beans and, stirring, heat them through, adding a dash of white wine at the last. Add the tomatoes, olives, basil, salt and pepper, and leave the flame on only just long enough for the tomatoes to be lightly heated. Pour the sauce over the pasta, drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil, and top with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.