Butter Bean Kale and Clam Ragù
I make this lima bean and kale ragù from time to time, which is good on it’s own, and adding clams to the dish works really well. It’s healthful and tastes great.
Start by cooking 2 cups of butter beans. To do this, wash the beans then add them to a stock pot with enough water to cover the beans (about 2 inches above the level of the beans). Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 1 hr. The goal here is to slightly under cook the beans.
When the beans are slightly undercooked, sautée diced onion and minced garlic in a large flat pan, then add your beans to the pan. It helps to use a slotted spoon to transfer the beans to reduce the amount of liquid that you’re adding to the pan. Add white wine and a bit of chicken stock to your beans, along with chopped kale, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and allow to cook on medium heat. You can also add a little salt here, but go easy on the salt, because your clams will add saltiness to the dish.
While your beans are cooking, wash your clams and cook them in a separate pan (they will release a lot of salt). Cook these covered on high heat for several minutes until the clams begin to open. As the clams open, remove them from the pan and place them on a plate (but leave the liquid, which is very salty).
Next, discard the liquid from the clams and rinse the salty liquid/residue from your pan. Sautée finely diced red bell pepper and minced garlic in your clean pan, then deglaze with white wine and finish with lemon juice.
Next, check your beans for doneness, and add more chicken stock as needed. Continue to cook and stir the beans until they are fully cooked. Some of the beans will also begin to break down as you stir, which is a good thing. The beans that break down help form the sauce for your dish.
When the beans are a few minutes from being done, reduce the heat and stir in a bit of olive oil. Then add your clams to the beans to finish the cooking, and add your sautéed red pepper and garlic to the clams.
When everything is cooked, check for seasoning at this point and add salt and pepper as needed. Remove the pan from the heat, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, add chopped parsley, and enjoy.
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