TOMATO SEASON IS HERE!!!!!!! I looooooove tomatoes. Love. And so does M (though he mysteriously won't eat them in his lunchbox anymore).
M does not always love beans though. He eats them, but they aren't on the top of his list.
As anyone who's read this blog knows, I have a relationship with healthy eating. Like all relationships, it takes work and there are lots of struggles. But any article titled, "The Last Conversation You'll Ever Need To Have About Eating Right," I am 100% going to read. I mean, I'm not going to stop having conversations about eating right, but I liked the article and one of my main takeaways was: Beans are good. Full stop. So, we're eating more beans, which is sometimes a struggle with a toddler.
These beans are not the healthiest things I've ever eaten. But a little bit of cream and Parmesan go a long way. A boat load of tomatoes, onions, garlic, salt, and fresh thyme also do some heavy lifting to form a dish that is hearty and tasty and takes advantage of the best summer produce.
But the secret ingredient here is patience. Reducing the sauce to a syrupy, caramely sauce gives you maximum tomato flavor.
And then your toddler will eat beans.
Creamy tomato and white bean pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ large white onion, minced
5 large garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds cherry or other heirloom tomatoes (or a mixture of both)
1 can white beans
2 Tbsp heavy cream
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup pasta, cooked
¼- ½ tsp salt (more to taste)
Thyme (2 tsp fresh or 1/2 tsp dried, or to taste)
In a medium pot, bring well- salted water to a boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
While the water is coming to a boil, mince the onions and garlic. Over medium-low heat, saute the onions for 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute, or until fragrant.
Chop the tomatoes and add them to the onions and garlic. Turn the flame up to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, or until the tomatoes release their water and begin to boil.
The liquid should be at a consistent and vigorous boil. If it isn’t, turn the heat up slightly until the liquid begins to boil. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the tomato liquid has reduced by more than half and become syrupy, about another 8-10 minutes.
Add the heavy cream and parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Continue simmering for 4-5 more minutes, stirring regularly, until the sauce thickens. (You should be able to scrape the bottom of the pan and the sauce doesn’t ooze back right away.)
Add the beans and pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Cook for one more minute to heat the beans and the pasta through.
Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh or dried thyme.
Yield: 4 servings (one heaping cup each)