beans (if you don't want to bother with doing your own use two cans of white beans drained and ignore the bean cooking directions)
1/2 bag of dry white navy beans (soaked in cold water in fridge over night)
4 pepper corns
1 bay leaf
2 bunches swiss chard (green or rainbow)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups water or more
1 garlic clove
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup pecorino romano grated
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 lb of extra small pasta shells
soak the beans over night in cold water cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.. when ready to start making the ragu drain the beans add to a heavy pot add enough water to cover the beans with about 2 inches of water above the beans. add the 4 whole peppercorns and the bay leaf. simmer for 90 minutes.
while the beans are cooking prepare the chard. first soak the 2 bunches of chard in a clean sink or a very deep bowl. cut the stalks and the thick veins away from the leaves with scissors place in a separate colander or bowl.
|chop the stalks and set aside......so beautiful|
|stalks on the left beans on the right|
|while the stalks are cooking chop the leave..after washing them very well with running water|
add the chunks of carrots onions and one clove of garlic...keep cooking keep adding water as the water begins to disappear almost like making risotto. add kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. simmer and keep adding water as needed. meanwhile set the pasta water on the stove to boil. get a spoon and remove the peppercorns and bay leaf from the beans. drain the beans. once the carrots are soft add the beans to the ragu and drop the mini shells into the boiling salted water and cook according to the box directions should be about 7 minutes.
once the pasta is done reserve a half cup of pasta water aside then add the pasta to the ragu when the pasta is ready add it to the ragu and let the flavors marry together on the low heat...add a little pasta water..salt and pepper to taste, drizzle of good olive oil and serve with pecorino YUM (you can fish out that lonely garlic clove or leave it an and make the person who gets it do the dishes)