Cannelini-Mushroom Spaghetti

I'm a woman of my word: I told you I wouldn't leave you hanging in unbearable suspense after yesterday's post. You see, the cannelini-mushroom crostini was good. Very good. But I took the leftovers and, being that I can't leave things well alone, added more to it. I tend to do this a lot with leftovers, which helps me cook in batches and have quick meals without feeling as though I'm eating the same thing day in and day out. It makes sense that a lot of my second go-arounds are enormously successful (a mon avis - in my opinion, that is), because the recipes I post here are almost exclusively first attempts on my part. So, the leftovers give me the opportunity to tweak - and let me tell you, I am so glad that I did!

I added some different Fall veggies and some condiments, and mixed it into a pasta to make this hearty fall pasta dish that you must try. I don't even think I'm going to make the dip without incorporating some of these changes. It really took the dish to a new level in every way: a better variety of textures, a gorgeous burnt-orange color, and so much flavor! This was a smash hit, if you ask me - making this a unanimously approved meal.

What I wound up with was a heartier sauce reminiscent of a more traditional marinara, but so much more special. You get a complete protein without any meat, tons of in-season veggies (though frozen would work just fine here), and what I think is a pretty snazzy name. Cannelini-Mushroom - it just kind of rolls of your tongue, right? Yeah? Well, I think it does, anyway.

Cannelini-Mushroom Spaghetti
Yield: 1-2 servings

The Ingredients
Cannelini-Mushroom Dip, found here
1 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 Tbsp. sour cream
1/4C kale
scant 1/4C cauliflower
chicken stock, for consistency

spaghetti noodles, for serving

The Method
While you wait for the water for the pasta to reach a boil, prepare the bean dip. Transfer the dip to a skillet and add the remaining ingredients, stirring to incorporate. While the pasta cooks, allow the bean mixture to warm up. Toss with pasta when ready, and serve.

Yes, that's it! I'm not messing around with these quick meals. This semester has kicked my butt something fierce, and as important as good, nutritious meals are to me, I'm not about to slave over dinner (often) after a long day of classes. Some of my days leave me away from my apartment for 9 hours. I know anyone with a full time job understands that feeling of walking through the door at 5:30, absolutely starving, and wanting nothing more than a hot meal. It can be so tempting to call for delivery or pop in a lean cuisine, but options like this spaghetti make those so much less appealing (especially when you're on a college student's budget, too). Quick, delicious, and healthy meals are not budget-breaking or time-wasting - necessarily, anyway.

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