Italian White Beans and Greens
with parmesan polenta / bread
This Italian-inspired meal is comforting and classic. Best served in shallow bowls to contain the polenta and sauce, you'll want to get some of each component in every bite.
Smarts: Serving this dish with bread is completely optional, but it's great for scooping and dipping the creamy dish.
- Power greens - 5 oz , chopped (labeled as “power greens” these are usually a mix that includes spinach and kale; sub baby spinach)
- Shallots - 2 cloves , diced
- Beans, cannellini or any white variety (14 oz / 397 g) - 2 cans , drained and rinsed
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Italian seasoning - 2 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
- Tomatoes, crushed (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can (sub tomato sauce or puree)
- Bread (opt) - for serving (use baguette or an Italian-style like ciabatta)
- Cheese, parmesan - 1 oz , grated, plus more for serving
- Water - 2 cups
- Milk - 1 cup (sub water)
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Polenta - 1/2 cup (use regular polenta; if using instant polenta, adjust according to package directions)
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
Cheese / Greens / Shallots - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Beans - Drain and rinse.
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Combine water, milk, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, keeping a close eye on it because milk can easily spill over. Add polenta while whisking to prevent lumps. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until polenta becomes thick and creamy, 20 to 25 minutes. (Keep an eye on it as it cooks. If the water evaporates too quickly and polenta thickens, add some additional water.)
Heat a large saute pan or skillet with oil over low-medium heat.
Add shallots and greens. Saute until greens are wilted and any excess liquid has cooked off, 4 to 6 minutes.
To greens, add in Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, and beans. Cook until greens are coated in tomato sauce and beans are warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with some salt and pepper.
Return to polenta and whisk in butter and cheese. Taste and season with some more salt, if needed.
Toast bread if you'd like it warm.
Divide polenta between serving bowls. Serve beans and sauce over top and bread on the side. Enjoy!