In the spirit of cooler weather and busier schedules, I’m happy to share some comfort food, or at least another recipe for it, from my new 30-Minute Heart Healthy Cookbook: Leek, Butter Bean, and Parmesan Orzo.
A word of explanation for this unique combination:
Why leeks? I love a big pile of aromatic sautéed onions, especially mild and sweet leeks. They’re also a good source of blood vessel-friendly flavonoids and polyphenols, fibre, and vitamins and minerals. If you’re not experienced with prepping them, see this handy guide.
What are butter beans? Butter beans are pretty much lima beans with better branding. Don’t let that scare you off! True to their name, they’re creamy and rich. If you can’t find them, you can substitute any white bean.
Why not whole wheat pasta? When I set about writing this cookbook, I planned for all of the grains to be whole grains. That worked well except when it came to pasta. Truly, I’ve never liked whole wheat pasta. Sometimes I mix whole wheat and white, which goes over better with the family, but it’s a hassle to buy two packages. We only have pasta a couple of times a week, and there are lots of other whole grains on the menu, so I let this one go.
I tried again to embrace whole wheat pasta for the cookbook, researching and experimenting with how to make it taste good, but for me, it just never matched the pleasant texture and experience of white pasta. I believe that food should be satisfying as well as support your health, so white it is. There is plenty of fibre and nutrition in this dish, don’t worry! If you’re keen for whole grains, try it with whole wheat orzo (affiliate link*) or barley.
Either way, if you haven’t tried orzo, you’re in for a treat. It’s creamy texture matches the lightly sautéed leeks and soft butter beans. Add the parmesan cheese and pine nuts and you’ll be in heaven. Cook it following the al dente directions on the package and keep the balance between the leeks, beans, and pasta as they are in the recipe, and you’ll have a heart-healthy dish, white pasta and all.
If you make the recipe, send me a note or comment on Facebook. I love to hear from you!
* An affiliate link simply means that if you order after clicking I earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.