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Comfort food at its best: Brussel Sprout, Kale, Asparagus and White Bean Pasta


Brussel sprouts and asparagus. That’s what I had in the fridge when I peered in to see about making Tuesday night’s dinner.  One of my favorite things to do is incorporate lots of veggies into a creamy bean based sauce and serve with pasta or some sort of grain.  In this instance David and I had a hankering for pasta so I came up with this very delicious, very healthy, veggie heavy pasta sauce.  This is the perfect example of me starting out not knowing exactly where I’ll end up. The key here is to taste along the way and adjust as you go.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion
3 garlic cloves
1 cup spicy tomato sauce – I used enchilada sauce
2 cups brussel sprouts sliced
3/4 can of cannellini or other white bean
2 cups kale leaves chopped
1 avocado
2 cups asparagus chopped into small pieces
16 oz preferred pasta – I used organic Rigatoni

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan.  Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato sauce and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the brussel sprouts and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the brussel sprouts really start to break down. Add the cannellini beans and give it a good stir.  With a bit more cooking the beans will break down and begin to create the creamy texture that makes this dish so comforting.  Add the kale.  Add the avocado and lastly add the asparagus.  I like to add the asparagus last so they retain a bit of their firmness. From start to finish you will want to cook the sauce for at least 45 minutes.

Cook the pasta for approximately 3 minutes less than it calls for on the packet.  Pasta is not an exact science and I taste along the way to make sure it is a firm al dente when I drain it. Reserve a cup of the salty pasta water.  Mix the pasta with the sauce and add a bit of the pasta water to the sauce to help smooth and loosen the sauce and coat the pasta.

Makes 6 – 8 servings

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