A few days ago, I was browsing Pinterest, and a picture of some tomatoey, cheesy Gnocchi made me slow down and get a little giddy. However, the funniest thing is that I initially believed the chicks were white beans. Short story short, I realized later that they were Gnocchi. But I was stuck baking white beans with cheese and marinara. I was intrigued by substituting Gnocchi for high-fiber beans and decided to try it. These white Beans made with Mushrooms and Marinara exceeded what I hoped they would, and the recipe offers lots of room for personalization, so I’m excited to show you the recipe!
WHAT KIND OF WHITE BEANS SHOULD I USE?
I chose large butter beans in this recipe, as they’re large and look like Gnocchi. If you don’t enjoy butter beans or can’t find cannellini beans, they’re another excellent option, as they’re rich in flavor. However, they are slightly bigger and hold their shape very well. You can also use navy beans; they’re not my first option for this recipe because they’re tiny and tend to break down quickly, and you won’t have the same texture from the dish.
CAN I ADD MEAT?
Sure! I made this dish to be a delicious vegetarian meal. However, this recipe is a great one for the inclusion of meat. The first option I would suggest is Italian sausage (browned in the pan before adding the mushrooms are added). However, pepperoni is also fantastic. You could cook on the pan before adding the mushrooms or chop the pepperoni and mix them into the sauce.
WHAT OTHER VEGETABLES CAN I ADD?
If you’re not interested in mushrooms or are simply seeking other veggies to include the mushroom, there are plenty of alternatives. Zucchini can be an excellent match to these flavors, and so will spinach. To cook zucchini, would suggest cutting it into slices and sauteing the mushrooms. For spinach, mix it in once the sauce has warmed up until it’s soft. Eggplant can also be delicious cut into pieces and sauteed following the mushrooms.
HOW TO SERVE WHITE BEANS WITH MUSHROOMS AND MARINARA
You’ll want to slurp off every drop of the marinara, which is why I recommend making this recipe with a slice of garlic Bread. Also, garlic breads are always a good choice. You can also spread this mix over Zoodles, a half-roasted eggplant, or, if you’re not trying to cut out pasta, serve it with the good old pasta.
Eight oz. mushrooms ($2.29)
Two tablespoons olive oil ($0.32)
One pinch of salt as well as pepper ($0.05)
Two cloves of garlic ($0.16)
Two cups of marinara (or additional to your preference) ($1.00)
2 15oz. cans of butter beans ($2.00)
1/2 tsp dried, chopped basil ($0.05)
One pinch of crushed red pepper ($0.02)
Four oz. mozzarella ($0.65)
The oven should be preheated to 400oF. Clean and cut the mushrooms. Include the mushrooms, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of a large skillet. Sauté the mushrooms until they’ve become wilted and all the moisture in the pan has evaporated.
While the mushrooms cook, cut the garlic into small pieces, remove, and rinse the beans in butter. The garlic should be added to the pan along with the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the cleaned butter beans, marinara, basil, and red pepper to your skillet. Mix everything up. Then allow it to simmer, stirring frequently.
As the pan heats, it slices the mozzarella. Sprinkle the skillet with mozzarella and place the foil over the top of the skillet. Place the skillet in an oven to bake it for about 5-7 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
After the cheese has been melted, remove the foil, change off the broiler, and then broil the pan for a couple of minutes to cook the cheese (observe, as the cheese’s browning speed can be rapid due to your broiler). Serve hot and with garlic bread to dip!