this was one of those dishes my brain created and i just had to see it through. i wouldn't rest until this dish was made, success or failure, it was a done deal for me.
you see, i kept craving something comforting and warm, and pasta always seems to satisfy that need. but i didn't want your basic run of the mill angel hair or spaghetti, i wanted something creamy and rich.
something that would satisfy all of my senses.
folks, meet the meal that will satisfy all of those things, and then some.
creamy white bean and basil stuffed cannelloni w/ fresh kalamata olive red sauce
6 cannelloni pasta shells
1 can white beans (14.5 oz.)
1 1/2 cups fresh basil (reserve 1 tbsp for garnish)
3 cloves garlic – minced
½ vidalia onion - chopped
¼ cup white wine
1 ½ cups stock (have a little extra available for the beans if needed)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup red wine
3 tbsp kalamata olives – chopped
crushed red pepper
silk creamer (optional)
in a medium sized pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. add ½ your garlic and onions, salt and pepper and cook until the onions are transparent. add your can of beans, 1 cup basil, stock and ½ tbsp crushed red pepper. cook and reduce down. if need be, add a little more stock. once you get to a semi-thick consistency, you can remove and let cool.
in a skillet, heat up 2 tbsp olive oil, and add the rest of your garlic, onions, salt and pepper. add your chopped tomatoes, red wine, ¼ cup basil and crushed red pepper. bring to a boil, turn down heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. you can now add your tomato paste to thicken. add your kalamata olives and let cook another 10 minutes.
with an immersion blender, blend your white bean mixture until smooth and creamy. you can use a little silk creamer for extra creaminess, if needed.
fill each pasta shell with the bean mixture. top with the kalamata red sauce and garnish with fresh basil and crushed red pepper.
serve with a crisp white wine.