White Bean Puttanesca with Garlic Bread

by Andie Mitchell on April 1, 2014

white bean puttanesca with garlic bread

 

I feel like I crossed a milestone this month.

I have begun…to meal plan. And not just scribble down a few rough ideas on the back of an envelope on my way out the door to the market, either. No. I’m sitting down (at my coffee table, so don’t take me for too rigid a woman), for about twenty minutes, on Sunday afternoons and thinking about recipes. It’s something I did years ago when I lived in Philadelphia and then in Seattle — something I was much better about when I was also better about budgeting and wearing non-yoga pants more than three times per week, but now, I’m getting back into the swing of things.

white bean puttanesca with garlic bread

 

The recipes, you’d think, would be the easy part. What am I in the mood for? But think of those times when someone asks you to name your favorite books…or your favorite movies…and how you draw a complete and utter blank. It’s kind of like that with the recipe ideas. So to keep me from the same ol’ “…uuuhhhh….taco salad?” song-and-dance, I’ve come up with a system of saving the recipes that I find online during the week in a Google Doc, and then using that to narrow down my list.

 

All through the work week, whenever I find a recipe on a blog (or Pinterest, or anywhere, really) that looks and sounds absolutely delicious, I just quickly copy the URL and paste it into a document or, for Mac/iPhone users — into NotePad, because the two sync. You could also Pin it, if you’re active on Pinterest, but I don’t know, Pinterest really makes me feel all the feelings, and none of them are anything but absolutely drowning in overwhelm. Point is: at the end of the week, you simply go through all the recipes you’ve collected, and pick out the ones you’d like to make. It’s a little work in advance, and it pays off.

white bean puttanesca with garlic bread

 

This dish is part of my third full week of meal planning. It follows all of my meal planning guidelines. According to, well OK yes, just me, the recipe must be:

1. Healthful (in accordance with my own personal standards, which are admittedly not crazy daisy high, but are reasonable, flexible, and realistic). In general, I like to cook in a wholesome, light way at home. I reserve the more over-the-top, extra-cheesy, ooey-gooey meals for restaurants — unless I’m entertaining.

2. Prep to plate in under an hour. This, unless I’m making something on a weekend, is entirely reasonable. Most meals that I make Monday through Friday can be prepared in thirty minutes.

3. No crazy ingredients. None of the recipe ingredients can be things that I wouldn’t use for at least five other recipes that I can think of off the top of my head. OR, if I do need an exotic spice, I MIGHT be more likely to buy it IF I can buy it in a smaller quantity at the bulk spice bin at Whole Foods — which, by the way, was a genius invention.

4. Budget-friendly. This is something that I’ll focus on MOST of the time. Say, 98% of the time. There will be weeks when I’m going to buy the $15/lb salmon or the $16/lb sea scallops, so I’m just basically preparing both of us mentally and emotionally now.

 

So. About this dish. Took me long enough to get here, didn’t it?

 

White bean puttanesca. WITH GARLIC BREAD. It was inspired by two things: 1.) Chicken Puttanesca in a Foil Packet — a recipe in the latest issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine, and 2.) The garlic bread that I ate at Buca di Beppo on Saturday night. Was I interested in the Puttanesca? Of course, sure. Was I interested in creating a saucy something-or-other in which to dip garlic bread? Next question.

white bean puttanesca with garlic bread

 

I chose to use cannellini beans here because they seemed to be more cost effective and much faster to cook with, and I love the way that they combine with the kalamata olives, artichokes, and diced tomatoes texturally to form a bean salad of sorts. I wanted to say hot bean salad, but that doesn’t sound so good, does it? The sauce for all of this is made simply from onions and lots of garlic sautéed in olive oil, and a can of undrained diced tomatoes. It’s bright and slightly salty in that lovely Mediterranean way olives are, and made a teeny bit briney from the addition of capers.

 

The garlic bread is as straight-forward and perfect as when my mother used to split hamburger buns, lay them open face on a baking sheet, butter them to high heaven, and then broil them until the tops blistered. This time, though, I used garlic-infused olive oil. A halved baguette, cut into five-inch sections, brushed with oil, sprinkled with red pepper flakes and oregano, and then baked. I obviously burnt mine about a million times, then burnt my hands. Then the oven door fell off — true story. Then I took these photographs anyway, and ate this meal sitting in Sabrina’s room on the floor where I took the photographs. Isn’t that precisely the way it would go?

 

Hope you’re well, friends!

White Bean Puttanesca with Garlic Bread

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

    For the Puttanesca:
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 of a 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, quartered (in water or brine)
  • 2/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped (1/2 of a ~10-ounce jar of olives in water or brine)
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • For the Garlic Bread:
  • 1/2 of a standard-size baguette or 1 demi-baguette (about 12-inches long)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. 1. Make the Puttanesca: Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until just beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Add the diced tomatoes and bring the pan to a simmer.
  2. 2. Add the cannellini beans and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. 3. Stir in the artichoke hearts, olives, and capers. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste for seasonings, adding salt or pepper according to preference. Reduce the heat to low and make the garlic bread.
  4. 4. Make the garlic bread: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the baguette in half length-wise, and then in half width-wise, to create four 5- or 6-inch sections. Place the baguette pieces on a baking sheet cut-side-up.
  5. 5. In a small skillet or saucepan, heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir constantly to ensure that it doesn't burn. Sauté until just faintly brown, fragrant, and soft, 1 to 2 minutes, lowering the heat if necessary so that the garlic does not burn. Remove the pan from heat immediately and pour the garlic oil into a small bowl. **Note that you want to to infuse the oil and to soften the garlic, but it does burn very easily, so feel free to lower the heat or remove the pan from heat occasionally.
  6. 6. In a small bowl, combine the oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  7. 7. Using a pastry brush, brush each slice of baguette evenly with the infused oil. Sprinkle liberally with the oregano-pepper mixture. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. 8. Serve immediately: Divide the cannellini puttanesca among four serving bowls. Garnish each with 2 tablespoons of fresh basil and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread.

Notes

Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1/4th of Entire Recipe INCLUDING garlic bread): Calories: 573, Total Fat: 21.7g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Total Carbohydrate: 80.8g, Dietary Fiber: 16.2g, Sugars: 7g, Protein: 21.3g

1 Serving WITHOUT GARLIC BREAD: Calories: 393, Total Fat: 14.7g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Total Carbohydrate: 55.8g, Dietary Fiber: 15.2g, Sugars: 7g, Protein: 16.3g

http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/2014/04/01/white-bean-puttanesca-with-garlic-bread/

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy | Pale Yellow April 1, 2014 at 7:28 pm

When I meal plan I have the same requirement! I’m so into meal planning, it’s hard for me to grocery shop without a strong plan!

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Hootie April 1, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Love the meal planning idea and the recipe :) thanks, hope you are well too! <3

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Tim April 1, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Thanks for the posts, i’m looking for extra motivation so your recipes are a great help. Check out my progress and give me some techniques if you can. http://www.scalewrestling.com

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Valerie April 2, 2014 at 6:53 am

We meal plan every week before making a grocery list.

What do you do when you don’t meal plan?

Wing it in the grocery store?

Go to the store every day?

Eat out a lot?

Doesn’t it get expensive to shop or eat out every day?

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Sharon April 2, 2014 at 9:11 am

I got my grocery list here, it’s been so helpful maintaining what I eat! http://triggerbody.com

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Leesa April 2, 2014 at 10:07 am

Sounds great, Andie! NOW…Hows your Mama doin’ We need an UPDATE!! :-)

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christine davis April 2, 2014 at 11:02 am

I used to meal plan extensively. Not so much anymore. I kinda do three days at a time, take note of what i already have and what i would need and keep it in my head. I find that I’m less stressed out. I bought a stand up freezer last fall and cooked a lot of soups/stews over the winter and froze them. I can take something out of the freezer on a whim to defrost. When a particular item was on sale, I stocked up so it’s easy to grab some chicken or ground turkey out of the freezer and then plan a meal around that based on what I have stocked up in my pantry. Last night I took out a peppercorn crusted pork tenderloin to defrost. I bought a bag of steamable fingerling potatoes this weekend and I always always always have steamable veggies in the freezer. Quick and easy for during the week.

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Lee Cockrum April 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm

This looks really yummy!!

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simple green moms April 2, 2014 at 3:11 pm

This looks absolutely delicious! We love healthy meals like this that leave you feeling totally satisfied and not so much deprived. Definitely making this soon =)

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Mark April 2, 2014 at 4:42 pm

This recipe looks delicious and healthy. Can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks
for sharing.

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sarah April 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I just wanted to say that I really think you are wonderful! I can’t wait for your book to hit the stores and hope you come to LA to do a signing. I will even bring my girl since you’ve always been so encouraging about my effort to be the best mom i can be.
hope NY is treating you well. looking forward to more form your beautiful brain!

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Nicola April 2, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Right now I’m on a meal plan kick so I love this
(I tend to do it, love it, then get too busy/lazy and have to rediscover meal planning after my third day in a row of breakfast for dinner)

Might even freeze some for my work lunches and kill two aspirational money saving/healthy eating birds with one stone. Thanks Andie!
xxx Nicola

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Morgan April 3, 2014 at 10:05 am

Any news on the book?! So pumped!

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Sharon D. April 3, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Your photos alone make me want to try this recipe. It looks beautiful and delicious! Thanks for sharing, Andie! :)

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annelies April 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm

The photos are stunning.

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Sam E. April 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Made this today during a lazy afternoon in Brooklyn. Verdict: delicious!

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The Hungry Mum April 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm

As much as I love Pinterest I agree – too.Much.Choice. This looks all the yumminess – will def try it.

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Hannah April 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Andie, so happy to see some recipes being posted on the blog! I missed it! (In a totally non-stalkerly way, to be sure ;P) I almost commented on one of your instagram pics the other day to let you know your readers were (impatiently) looking forward to your next post! :D
Meal planning is definitely something I try to do often. It saves my sanity at the grocery store! :)

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Grazing Dani April 8, 2014 at 9:27 am

Yessss! Finally!!!! I have missed your recipe posts so much and this looks fabulous! So glad to hear you are getting in the swing of things again and meal planning. I’ve been trying to avoid processed sugars and refined carbs until Easter so I’ve been doing a lot of meal planning to keep myself on track. If anyone is interested, I’ve been posted them for the last 6 weeks. Each contain at least 7 dinner options and a handful of snacks and breakfasts as well as some healthy, whole-food recipes from other blogers I admire! http://grazingdani.blogspot.de/2014/02/sugar-detox-meal-plan-week-1.html

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Reynaul April 9, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Looks yummy! Can’t wait for your book to come out! I lived off of your salad base and salad recipes that you made for your mom during her weight loss journey for my lunches. It helped me to lose 28 lbs and win the biggest loser contest that we had at work, so THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

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Alex April 10, 2014 at 11:30 am

This looks really tasty. I’m a big fan of garlic bread myself…so this would be a great combination for me to test out some time :)

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Ian Jason April 11, 2014 at 10:37 am

Hello Andie,

this looks like Mediterranean food to me. I am from Greece and when I saw the photo of your meal, it looked so familiar in terms of the food ingredients!

I love artichokes, and the combination with garlic bread and beans is fantastic.

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Silvia April 12, 2014 at 1:51 am

This was amazing!!! It’s also a very versatile recipe, add a bit more of this, a little less of that. All I can say is: I’ve made it twice in ten days!! Also, all the best to your Mom!! I so miss her posts, hope she is doing great! I’ve lost 34 pounds so far–from 189 to 155 and aiming for 150. Your mom and her journey were/continue to be steadfast companions through my own health/weight loss adventure, which began last July (2013).

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Anne April 12, 2014 at 6:55 pm

This recipe looks wonderful. Can’t wait to try it. F.Y.I. For those of you who freeze soups or stews, freeze them FLAT in double zip bags. I fill a soup bowl full and pour into bag, pressing out air. That way you have one serving per bag. They thaw easily and even if they are still a little icy, you can slide into a pan and put on low and thaw and heat at the same time. You can stack the bags in the freezer to save space. Much better frozen in bags than in plastic containers that don’t save space and take forever to thaw. ‘Nuf said.

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Meg April 15, 2014 at 10:35 am

I made this and it was delicious! So easy to make, and super healthy too. Thanks Andie!

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Shawna April 15, 2014 at 5:35 pm

YUM! :)

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martha@ simple-nourished-living May 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm

This looks amazing! I’m not much of a meal planner. It seems to stress me out and send me into feelings of overwhelm, much like Pinterest :-) I tend to shop for what looks good and is priced right and then figure out what to make from it day by day! We are a family of two so I can usually cook once and then eat 2 or 3 times which is nice.
Love your suggestion for copying recipe URLs to a word document or notes!! i’m going to implement this immediately.
Thanks so much.

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Amanda May 16, 2014 at 10:20 am

Don’t feel bad about wearing yoga pants more than 3 times for week. I do too. And I don’t feel any guilt! :) Love the meal planning! You go girl!

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Steve June 13, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Wow what a great recipe, I’m going to try this! I love artichokes and it goes really well with garlic :)

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