Home Cooking: Jack Monroe’s Cannelini Beurre Blanc

This surprising dish is luxurious and delicious while at the same time being easy to make and very inexpensive. It deserves the same viral popularity as #TheStew in my humble opinion.

I stumbled across the recipe in the New York Times (where I get a lot of food inspiration). While I’m grateful for their columnists for introducing me to these great chefs and great recipes from elsewhere, I think I’m a little uncomfortable that the by-line of the person who reprints the recipe is more prominent than the person who created it: in this case, Jack Monroe, an English food writer.

In fact, the recipe on her website, not behind the NYT pay wall, on her awesome website, Cooking on a Bootstrap, makes me like the recipe even more, which I didn’t think possible. It explains Monroe’s food philosophy, where she says ‘I want to live in a world where everyone should be able to put a beurre blanc on the table without hesitation.’ The servings of this recipe costs LESS THAN A DOLLAR and yet, it ‘would sit proudly on any hifalutin restaurant menu’. I think I’ll serve it as a first course sometime.

I was drawn to the recipe since I’ve been wanting to make more beans in my pressure cooker. I hear they’re good for you, beans, and rather than buying them in tins (which is cheap and easy and I don’t have anything against), I thought I might as well cook them myself. Throw a cup of them in the electric pressure cooker, with more water than I put in the first time (ahem) and they’re perfect, some 40 minutes later. So, after buying some dried cannelini beans, I found this recipe, which was perfect.

But I was also intrigued because I couldn’t really figure out how the recipe would turn out. You cook the pasta in the broth! I’ve never done that before. It gave me a chance to try out a new shape, a garganelli, that I watched Laura on this season of Masterchef Australia make (she’s a pasta expert). But you can use whichever is your preferred small pasta shapes. And then, beurre blanc: I wasn’t even sure what the taste would be. Butter, white wine vinegar and white wine.

What happens, magically, is that the beans fall apart into this thick, luxurious sauce and any vinegary taste disappears from the beurre blanc so that when combined, it tastes rich and buttery and balanced and elegant. It’s an amazing recipe, methinks. And if you care to learn more about Jack, she seems super cool, super smart and she’s an anti-poverty campaigner as well as a food writer. Cheers, Jack. You’re awesome.

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