White beans and dreams


hen I first got married, I didn’t have much experince in the kitchen outside the Italian-American household I grew up in. So when I cooked, I tended to cook what I knew how to make which meant a lot of meatballs and lots of pasta! One day Brett finally said to me, “You know babe, I would really love to eat something other than pasta.” I felt like I was punched in the gut! Who doesn’t like macaroni and ‘gravy?’ That’s when I realized I really didn’t know how to cook many things.

I threw myself into reading recipe books and started to really experiment in the kitchen. In retrospect, that confession by Brett is what led me to discover my passion for being in the kitchen.

But there was this one night when I really wanted my macaroni fix, and I knew it wasn’t going to fly well with Brett. So I decided to try a new recipe and decided on Michael Chiarello’s Tuscan Cannelloni Beans. I realized that what I was making was actually a sauce I would have easily made for a pasta dish and that the beans were essentially a substitution. The meal was a total success and I started using cannellini beans in place of pasta for many dishes since.

Any given bean day...