Pasta e fagioli. Can't read it without an Italian accent, can you? Can't read it without the computer screen fading away, being replaced by a red checker cloth with a candle flittering by breadsticks. (Or cheesy pull-apart bread, as you'll make here.) One, or three, glasses of red wine later, and this perfect bowl of pasta and vegetables is set down in front of you. You glance up at the waiter, who, twirling his mustache and in a deep, boisterous Italian accent down to the arm motions, triumphantly announces it: “pasta e fa-joe-lee!” Is that Dean Martin singing “That's Amore” in the background or in your heart after you finish this meal? Delizioso!
Drain and rinse cannellini beans.
Core tomatoes and cut into ½" dice.
Stem and coarsely chop oregano.
Stem kale and coarsely chop.
Make diagonal cuts into baguette 1½" apart, leaving ¼" layer on bottom. Repeat at opposite angle, making a crosshatch pattern.
Cook the Pasta
Add pasta to boiling water and stir occasionally until tender, 10-11 minutes.
Reserve 1½ cup pasta water. Drain in a colander and set aside.
While pasta cooks, make cheesy bread.
Make the Cheesy Bread
Place baguette on prepared baking sheet and insert half the garlic (reserve remaining for stew) into crevices, as evenly as possible throughout bread.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil into crevices, then add mozzarella as evenly as possible.
Gather foil into a loose pouch around bread. Bake until cheese is melted, 7-8 minutes.
Open pouch and bake until cheese is lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside.
Start the Stew
Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp. olive oil, remaining garlic, and red pepper flakes (to taste). Cook until aromatic, 30-60 seconds.
Stir in cannellini beans, pasta water, tomatoes, and oregano. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium, and stir in kale.
Cover and cook until kale is slightly wilted, 3-4 minutes.
Finish the Stew
Uncover stew and stir in pasta and pecorino (reserve a pinch for garnish). Season with ¼ tsp. salt.
Plate dish as pictured on front of card, garnishing with remaining pecorino. Bon appétit!