Truffled Pappardelle with Pancetta and Asparagus

truffled-pappardelle-with-pancetta-and-asparagusHave you carried over any routines from your childhood household to your adult life? I have retained so many that I’m 95% sure I have morphed into my mother. (Which is a pretty awesome thing, my mom is the best!) For example, like my mother before me, my Thursday nights are for cleaning the house while Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune play in the background. The first 15 minutes after arriving home from work are reserved for a fresh cup of coffee and a magazine. And Friday nights are “no cook” nights. While there were occasional Friday evenings where we had tuna noodle casserole, by and large our Friday nights were pizza nights. Nothing was so simultaneously thrilling (pizza!) or terrifying (I didn’t want to open the door and awkwardly pay the delivery guy) as seeing the Pizza Hut delivery car pull into the driveway.

For the past 5 years, my husband and I have carried on the Friday night pizza tradition. However, in the past few months pizza hasn’t really been hitting the spot. I want something…else. Sometimes we’ll pick up Chinese from the place around the corner. Other times, if I’m reeaaally nice, I can convince Justin to drive out to our favorite Thai restaurant to grab takeout. And no, I really don’t feel like eating out on Fridays. For one, I’m exhausted, and two, my cats have been home by themselves all week and need our attention, thankyouverymuch. Surprisingly, the most satisfying Friday night dinners in recent history have been the ones where I’ve gotten over my initial weariness, poured myself a glass of wine and gotten to work in the kitchen. Maybe it’s the little thrill of bucking tradition. More likely it’s been the phenomenal and phenomenally easy pasta dinners I’ve thrown together. Today’s Truffled Pappardelle with Pancetta and Asparagus is one such home run.

truffle-papardelle-with-pancetta-and-asparagus

This recipe was inspired by the meal I ordered at our anniversary dinner a few weeks ago at  Chow Bistro. It’s one of those recipes that is delicious and impressive and has the added bonus of being unexpectedly simple to make. Perfectly al dente pasta is tossed with crisp bits of pancetta, lightly charred asparagus and coated with savory, slightly funky (in the best way) truffle butter. Plus, it’s topped with a fried egg. Fried eggs = happiness in my book. If truffle butter is a deal breaker for you, or if you simply can’t find it, you can easily substitute browned butter. The result is a rich and special occasion-worthy pasta dish that is done within 30 minutes. Go ahead and invite some friends over for a weeknight or Friday night dinner- they’ll think you’re a rockstar with this meal.

Pappardelle is a medium wide egg pasta usually sold in adorable little “nests.” The cute factor obviously makes it that much more tasty. While the water is coming up to a boil and the pasta cooks, diced pancetta is browned in a large skillet. Once the pancetta is crisp, remove it from the skillet and rest in a bowl lined with paper towels. Toss the asparagus into the skillet and quickly cook it in the fat rendered from the pancetta. If you have time before the pasta is done, you can take the asparagus out of the skillet, fry the eggs and set them aside. Otherwise you can quickly fry them up after the pasta is plated. Once the pasta is done, toss it into the skillet with a generous amount of truffle butter, the asparagus and pancetta and toss until everything is coated in decadent, buttery goodness. Shave parmesan over the pasta, top each serving with a fried egg and eat! Give this a try one Friday night, or any night. The only loser here is the local pizza shop- they’ll miss you!

truffle-papardelle-with-pancetta-and-asparagus

Truffled Pappardelle with Pancetta and Asparagus

If you cannot find or do not like truffle butter, you can substitute an equal amount of browned butter. Truffle butter can be found near finishing butters in grocery store.

Ingredients:

  • 9-10 oz dried pappardelle pasta (1 package)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz diced pancetta
  • 1 bunch asparagus, about 1 lb, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 Tbsp truffle butter (or browned butter, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 eggs

Instructions:

Fill large stockpot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add salt to water. Add pappardelle and cook until al dente, per package instructions (around 7 minutes.) When pasta is done, reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water and drain.

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add pancetta to skillet and cook until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove pancetta from skillet to bowl lined with paper towels. Add asparagus to skillet and cook until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Season asparagus with salt and pepper. Remove asparagus from skillet and add eggs. Season with salt and pepper and fry until the whites are set and yolk remains runny. Set eggs aside.

Reduce heat under skillet to medium. Add truffle butter, pasta, pancetta and asparagus. Cook until truffle butter is melted and all ingredients are coated. Taste and season again with salt and pepper. If the pasta looks dry, add reserved pasta water in small increments until you reach desired consistency. Note that this will not be a heavily sauced pasta.

Portion pasta onto plates and top each serving with parmesan and fried egg.

Serves 3-4

truffle-papardelle-with-pancetta-and-asparagus

Pumpkin Spice Crispy Treats

pumpkin-spice-crispy-treats

Hey there! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was wonderful, just too short. I could always use one more day. If someone ran a presidential campaign on the platform of a nationwide 3 day weekend they would have my vote. Sadly I think all hope is lost on that front for this election. At least homemade treats make a pretty good consolation prize. I did have time  this weekend to make this fun, seasonal update on the classic Rice Krispie Treat. Which is a good thing and a bad thing. Good because they are delicious. Bad because…they are delicious and I keep eating them. Pumpkin Spice Cheerios and white chocolate chips turn this childhood classic into a delightful autumn treat. These Pumpkin Spice Crispy Treats would be a great fall baking project to make with young kiddos for Halloween. No complicated measuring or prolonged baking time. Just melt, stir, pour and slice. Easy peasy.

I’m sure you don’t need too much in the way of directions for these treats, since they follow the tried and true Rice Krispie Treat method. However, I will offer a couple of tips. First, learn from my mistakes and mix the cereal with the melted marshmallows in the pan you use to melt the marshmallows. I did the opposite- I poured the melted marshmallows into a bowl with the cereal/chocolate chip mixture and it almost cooled before I had thoroughly mixed everything. If you mix in the pan, the residual heat will keep the marshmallow warm enough to evenly coat the cereal. Next, these are most easily sliced if  you spray your knife with some nonstick cooking spray. That way you’re sure to get clean edges. Finally, if you can’t find Pumpkin Spice Cheerios (I bought the last box at my store. Sorry, neighbors!), you could also use Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. Or use plain Cheerios or Rice Krispies and add 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice to the butter/marshmallow mixture.

I decorated individual squares with mellowcreme pumpkins, since I’m a sucker for those little things. If you put them on while the treats are still warm they’ll stick. Sliced up and put in individual cellophane treat bags, these would be great for a fall bake sale or class party. One last thing- this recipe uses a bag and half of marshmallows, which means you’ll have half a bag leftover. If you’re wondering what to do with the extra, take a peek at my recipe for S’mores Tarts. Enjoy!

pumpkin-spice-crispy-treatsPumpkin Spice Crispy Treats

Ingredients:

  • 9 cups (1 box) Pumpkin Spice Cheerios*
  • 2 cups (1 bag) white chocolate chips
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 15 oz (1 1/2 bags) marshmallows
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

In large bowl, toss cheerios and white chocolate chips.

Prepare 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In large stockpot, melt butter over medium low heat. Once butter is melted, add marshmallows and stir continuously until marshmallows are completely melted. Add vanilla extract and stir to incorporate. Take stockpot off heat. Add cheerios and white chocolate chips and stir until cereal mixture is well coated in marshmallow. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and  press into even layer. (Spray cooking spray on your hands or spatula to make this task less messy.)

Allow treats to cool, then cut into squares. To cut cleanly, spray nonstick cooing spray on knife.

Makes about 24 treats, more or less depending on how sliced.

*If you cannot find Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, you can use Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. Alternatively, use either regular Cheerios or Rice Krispies and add 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice to marshmallow mixture before adding cereal.

Pumpkin Spice Crispy Treats

 

Creamy Kielbasa, Kale and Potato Soup

creamy-kielbasa-kale-and-potato-soup

Is there anything more comforting than a hot and hearty bowl of soup on a chilly day? I don’t think so. Right about now I could use a cool, blustery day where all I do is hang out in comfy clothes while eating a warm bowl of soup on the couch. This right here would be my soup of choice. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll have that kind of down time anytime soon. But at least I can have the soup. And what a soup. Turkey kielbasa, kale and potatoes are cooked in a flavorful broth and finished off with a little heavy cream of richness and texture. There are a million variations of this soup across the internet. This is mine and I think it’s pretty fabulous. A lot of versions use Italian sausage, but I like the flavor and meatiness of turkey kielbasa. The result is a super tasty and satisfying soup that’s on the table in no time. It’s pretty healthy, too, even with the addition of heavy cream.

creamy-kielbasa-kale-and-potato-soup

This soup is a great option to whip up on the weekend for a quick and easy lunch. It holds up well in the refrigerator, so make a double batch for the week ahead. There are a couple of simple steps to maximize deliciousness here. First, brown the turkey kielbasa in olive oil before preparing the rest of the soup. Then remove the kielbasa and add in at the very end, rather than simmering with the soup the whole time. The turkey kielbasa can get tough if overcooked, so this ensures that it remains tender and juicy. You’ll also want to add the heavy cream at the very end. If you’re making extra to serve later in the week, just remember to stir the soup before scooping out portions as the broth and cream will separate a bit in the fridge. This soup will be in regular rotation in the cold months ahead.

Have a great and cozy weekend, friends!

creamy-kielbasa-kale-and-potato-soup

Creamy Kielbasa, Kale and Potato Soup

A healthy and hearty soup of juicy turkey kielbasa, potatoes and kale in a flavorful broth enriched with a little heavy cream. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 13 oz-1 lb turkey kielbasa
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Heat olive oil in stockpot over medium high heat. Brown turkey kielbasa 3-4 minutes, then remove to a bowl and set aside. Add onion and carrot to pot and cook until onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook an additional 30 seconds, until garlic becomes fragrant.

Add chicken broth, potatoes, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add turkey kielbasa and kale to pot and cook 3-4 minutes, until kale is wilted and kielbasa is warmed through. Stir in heavy cream and serve.

Serves 4.

 

Shredded Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad

shredded-brussels-sprout-and-kale-salad

AKA trendy vegetable salad. Kale and Brussels Sprouts have become quite the happening veggies in the past few years. Which is awesome, to be sure. As long as they are treated correctly. There’s a reason that these two nutritional superstars were relegated to garnish and grandma status for so long. When not prepared well, they can be pretty….blech. Maybe SNL said it best:

sub-buzz-12834-1475595477-1

source

Yeah. When treated carelessly, both brussels sprouts and kale can be repulsive. But when treated properly, they are such a treat. I’ll let you guess which route we’re going today.

I’ve only really been turned on to brussels sprouts in the past few years. I was fortunate to never have experienced the sulfurous stink of improperly cooked sprouts in my youth, but that is mostly because we didn’t eat them at all (maybe my mom had lingering memories of bad brussels sprouts past.) Roasted, almost charred brussels sprouts have thankfully been my gateway, and I’ve been head over heels ever since. Raw, shredded brussels sprouts take a little leap of faith but are so worth it. In this salad, they’re sliced super thin, courtesy of a food processor or a very sharp knife and steady hand. Tossed with kale, our other veggie du jour, they form a hearty and nutritious base for a delicious fall salad.

shredded-brussels-sprout-and-kale-salad

Since we start with a super healthy base, we can obviously indulge ourselves a little, right? Sure we can. We’ll crisp up a few thinly sliced shallots in olive oil, toast some nutty pumpkin seeds and sprinkle some tangy blue cheese over top. Sweet cranberries and chopped apples top off the tasty additions. And we’re not done yet. Such a delightful salad deserves a yummy homemade dressing, no? Mix together some apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, almond butter, dijon mustard and maple syrup and OMG. A variation on this dressing has been my go-to for fall and winter salads ever since I tried Kristin’s version over at Iowa Girl Eats. SO delish. I promise it is worth tossing all of these ingredients into a mason jar and shake, shake, shaking to your heart’s content. Almost as easy as store bought but a thousand times more tasty.

shredded-brussels-sprout-and-kale-salad

A few tips to make this salad as wonderful as possible: First, when trimming the root end of the sprouts, be sure to get all of the tough, woody part from the bottom where the sprout connects to the stalk. Even when shredded it can be somewhat tough, so take care of it at the outset. Next, toss the chopped apple with some lemon juice so that it stays crisp and doesn’t brown. Finally, if you won’t be eating the whole salad at one meal, don’t dress the whole thing. The sprouts and kale can wilt a bit once left in the dressing for a significant period of time (we’re talking like a day) so it’s worthwhile to dress each serving individually if you’ll consume over a few days. Oh, and maybe double the dressing recipe. I’m pretty sure you’ll find a way to use it.

shredded-brussels-sprout-and-kale-salad

Shredded Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, tough outer leaves removed and thinly shredded, either with food processor or sharp knife
  • 2 cups chopped kale ( I used lacinato)
  • 1 apple, diced and tossed with the juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp then chopped
  • 3-4 shallots, thinly sliced (or 2 very large shallots)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Almond Cider Dressing:
    • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 1 Tbsp almond butter
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
    • salt and pepper

Instructions:

Prepare dressing: in mason jar add dressing ingredients and shake until thoroughly combined.

Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. When oil shimmers, add shallot and fry 3-4 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove shallots to bowl lined with paper towels.

In large bowl, combine brussels sprouts, kale, apple, bacon, shallots, blue cheese, pumpkin seeds and cranberries. Add dressing and toss to combine. If you will be eating the  salad over a few days, dress each serving as eaten.

Serves 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

pumpkin-coffee-cake-with-maple-glaze

Hey there! How was your weekend? Mine was perfectly autumn-y. It was a wonderful combination of blustery, rainy weather and radiant, colorful sunshine. Plus, hubby and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Saturday, which was fun. Hard to believe it’s been 5 years already! I’m sure we’ll say the same thing at 50, God willing. In honor of our anniversary, I let Justin pick which recipe I would post first this week. He totally surprised me by choosing this pumpkin coffee cake with maple glaze. Justin proclaims himself to be pumpkin-ambivalent. He reckons that he is above the pumpkin-spice-everything craze that runs rampant this time of year. But. One bite of this pumpkin coffee cake…. Actually, one taste of the spiced maple glaze that I offered while finishing the cake, and all that went out the window. I offered to send the leftovers with him to work, because this recipe makes a very generous 9×13 pan of decadent coffee cake, and he declined. Which means he plans to eat the entire 9×13 pan of pumpkin coffee cake over the upcoming week. Don’t worry, he’s training for the Philly marathon in November, he’ll burn it off. #wifebrag.

This pumpkin coffee cake fits perfectly into the autumn of my dreams. The one where I host a lovely outdoor brunch for friends and family on picnic tables under vibrantly colored trees with an expertly selected menu of cozy, seasonal fare. The centerpiece, of course, would be this coffee cake. Surprisingly light and incredibly tasty, this cake is decadent and wholesome. Sweet enough for dessert but totally acceptable for a weekend breakfast. Hey, pumpkin is a vegetable, right? While I may fall short of my fall brunch goals this season (the days are flying by! we just finally bought our mums this weekend!), this coffee cake will not disappoint. Don’t hate me for suggesting that this would be a fantastic breakfast while the whole gang is in the house come Thanksgiving.

pumpkin-coffee-cake-with-maple-glaze

I hope it goes without saying that this pumpkin coffee cake with maple glaze is delicious. But in addition to being delicious, it’s also fairly simple to make. There are a few steps, between making the cake batter, mixing the streusel and preparing the glaze, but nothing is very complicated and it all comes together pretty quickly. The result is so worth it. The cake itself is warmly spiced and tender. Not at all heavy or dense, as pumpkin confections can sometimes be. The classic streusel topping is what makes it coffee cake, which means you’re well within your rights to pick sweet, buttery pieces from the top of the cake as it cools. And the maple glaze… Well, that’s what makes this recipe truly worthy of a special occasion. Powdered sugar, pure maple syrup and heavy cream combine to make a divine topping for an already heavenly cake. The glaze recipe makes a generous amount, so drizzle about half over the cake once cooled and reserve the rest to drizzle (or,  um, douse) individual servings. I might give Justin a run for his money this week. I’m already planning to have a piece of this coffee cake with a cappuccino after work tomorrow.

pumpkin-coffee-cake-with-maple-glaze

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Ingredients:

For Cake:

  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp salt

For Streusel:

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter,cut into small cubes, at room temperature

For Maple Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream, plus more as necessary
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer, add eggs, oil, sugars, pumpkin and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until combined, about 3 minutes. In medium bow, whisk together dry ingredients. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients to wet in 3 batches, allowing each to incorporate into wet ingredients before proceeding. Pour batter into prepared pan.

In medium bowl whisk together the following streusel ingredients: flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add butter to bowl and incorporate into dry ingredients, using either pastry blender or fingertips. Mix until mixture resembles coarse sand and holds together when pressed but will still easily crumble. Sprinkle streusel over top of cake batter. Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, or until skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before adding glaze.

To prepare maple glaze, add all ingredients to medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined and glaze drizzles easily from whisk. Add additional cream if necessary to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle about half of the glaze over the coffee cake and reserve the rest to drizzle over individual servings. Or just go for it and put entire glaze recipe over cake.

Serves 12-16, depending on size of pieces.

pumpkin-coffee-cake-with-maple-glaze

Grandma Pisani’s Pasta Fagioli

grandma-pisanis-pasta-fagioli

My grandma’s recipe for pasta fagioli departs from the typical soup version of the dish. Instead this is a hearty pasta dish, quick and economical enough to make on a weeknight when the pantry is bare. Grandma’s pasta fagioli is the definition of comfort food: warm, delicious and packed with love and happy memories. 

My love for cooking started in my Grandma Pisani’s kitchen. She has a tiny stool that says “Happiness is Retirement”, or something to that effect. When I was a little girl, Grandma would pull the stool up to the counter and patiently walk me through the steps of her recipes. She started with the  quick and simple ones, keeping in mind my small hands and attention span. Scrambled eggs, or “eggies”, as we called them, were an early favorite. As the years progressed, we moved on to grilled cheese and pan fried sausages, to cookies and Christmas kolachi. Grandma let me taste each ingredient, so I knew the difference between butter and oleo (margarine), between provolone and cheddar. The dishes we made were never complicated or fancy but were always delicious and full of her boundless love. They are the recipes I turn to when I’m feeling blue, homesick or under the weather. On a dreary Sunday afternoon, nothing makes me happier than making a big batch of meatballs and sauce, Grandma-style. The savory aroma and divine taste evaporate all of the years and miles and place me right back in Grandma’s kitchen, where nothing very wrong could ever happen and all problems could be cured with a cookie, a cup of tea and a hug.

Fortunately, not all of Grandma’s greatest hits are weekend-only affairs. This pasta fagioli is a perfect example. Lightning quick and made entirely of pantry staples, this is a busy weeknight’s saving grace. The entire dish is done in the time it takes the water to boil and pasta to cook. Chopping a little garlic is the extent of the culinary skill needed to pull this one off. Saute the garlic in some olive oil flavored with a pinch of red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning. Add some tomato sauce and red beans (red because my Dad and uncles used to pick the beans out- lunatics!- so Grandma used red beans to make this task easy for them) and simmer while the pasta finishes. Reserve some pasta water, drain pasta and toss in the sauce. Add pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce so it coats the pasta. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle on some shredded Parmesan and dinner is on the table. This is humble, good food, perfect to warm bellies and souls as the cold months approach.

Grandma and Grandchildren.jpg

Grandma with all of her grandchildren ❤

As is typical for a family recipe, there are a million stories and memories associated with this pasta fagioli. When my parents started dating, my dad brought my mom to dinner at Grandma’s house unannounced one evening. It was the first time my mom was meeting my dad’s family and Grandma was less than thrilled with her lack of notice. She had made this pasta fagioli and homemade pizza(!) and was embarrassed at the modest dinner she had prepared. Of course, my mom was floored by the delicious home cooked meal she was served and has raved about the pasta fagioli ever since. Which just goes to show, simple can be best and Grandma knows what she’s doing. Love you, Grandma!!!

grandma-pisanis-pasta-fagioli

Grandma Pisani’s Pasta Fagioli

This pasta fagioli is a hearty and economical pasta dish. The sauce just lightly coats the pasta. If you prefer a more saucy pasta, you may increase the amount of tomato sauce in the recipe by 1.5 to 2x the amount called for. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups ditalini pasta
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Season water generously with salt. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat in large skillet or saucepan. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning and cook another 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium-low and add tomato sauce and kidney beans. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Simmer sauce gently until pasta is done.

Once pasta is done, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and then drain pasta. Add pasta to sauce and toss to coat. Add reserved pasta water as necessary to ensure sauce evenly coats pasta. Taste and season again with salt and pepper. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Serves 4-6.