College Students Learn to Cook … And a Recipe for Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans (Podcast #210)

Both of us were graduate students at Boston University, so the school is near and dear to our hearts. We also get a lot of smart and talented nutrition interns from B.U. including Bianca (standing in the photo below second from the right with a gray shirt and white apron), who spent some time with us last summer. Turns out that when Bianca isn’t interning, she’s a full-time student at B.U. who also happens to work part time for the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen. On this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast, we dish about the SC Test Kitchen, which brings college students together each week to talk, cook, taste, and learn and where new and nutritious recipes are tested out before ending up (or not ending up) in the B.U. dining halls.

Every Wednesday, professor Karen Jacobs (left) invites students into her apartment — which also happens to be in one of the B.U. dorms — to prepare a recipe provided by the university’s team of registered dietitians. We stopped by to check out the action, meet some of the students, and nibble on the evening’s creation: Penne Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans.

All hands on deck! Between the garlic and the basil, Karen’s apartment smelled great. While no student randomly ambled in, Karen does leave her apartment door open during test kitchen gatherings; everyone is welcome.

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans

Makes 8 Servings

The dietitians with Sargent Choice Test Kitchen chose this recipe from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger. The consensus among the group was that the dish needed more flavor and that it would be better in the summer when tomatoes and fresh basil are at their peak.

  • 6 to 8 large ripe tomatoes (about 4 pounds)
  • 12 large cloves garlic, papery outermost skin removed, but left unpeeled
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini or other white beans, low-sodium
  • 1 box (13.5-ounce) whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2/3 cup fresh basil leaves cut into ribbons
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat the oven to 450˚F.

2. Slice each tomato into 8 wedges and discard the seeds.  Put the tomato wedges and garlic in a large roasting pan or cookie sheet, toss with 4 tablespoons of the oil, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the salt and pepper to taste.  Roast, uncovered, until the tomatoes lose their shape and become slightly charred, 35 to 40 minutes.

3. Drain the beans in a large colander in the sink.

4. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain the pasta in the colander containing the beans, so the hot pasta water warms the beans.  Return the drained pasta and beans to the pasta pot.

5.  When the tomatoes are done, carefully pick out the garlic cloves, squeeze the garlic out of the skin into a small bowl, and mash with a fork.  Add the lemon juice, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and ½ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper, and stir to combine.

6.  Transfer the roasted tomatoes to the pasta pot, and add the garlic-lemon mixture and basil. Toss to combine.  Serve topped with the Parmesan.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1½ cups): 460 calories, 14g fat (2.5g saturated), 68g carbohydrate, 12g fiber, 18g protein

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Rumor has it that the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen will be testing some of our Meal Makeover Mom recipes in the coming months. We’ll be sure to link up to Bianca’s blog with the students’ feedback. (Our fingers are crossed that the recipes are well received!) PS: Karen Jacobs is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy. She’s written a wonderful book called, How Full is Sophia’s Backpack?, a story that illustrates the relationship between siblings, one of whom is autistic.

One response to “College Students Learn to Cook … And a Recipe for Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans (Podcast #210)”

  1. Louise says:

    everything looks delicious

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