Comforting lemon basil noodles a one-pan wonder
Cut the onion into 1/25cm dice. Smash, peel and mince the garlic, if using. Use a Microplane or box grater to zest the lemon, yielding at least 2 teaspoons of zest.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and the garlic, if using; cook for 3 minutes, or until just softened. Add the cannellini beans and whole-grain mustard; cook for 3 minutes or until heated through, then use a fork to mash about half of them, right in the pan. Season lightly with salt.
Add the noodles to the pan, breaking them up with your fingers as you go, as needed. Stir to incorporate; cook for a few minutes, then pour in 2 cups of the broth. Increase the heat to medium-high; cook for about 6 minutes, stirring a few times; the noodles should be almost cooked through.
Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the lemon zest and black pepper, stirring gently to incorporate. If the noodles seem too firm or not quite done, stir in the remaining cup of broth. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Cut the lemon in half; squeeze in about 2 tablespoons of juice, then cut the remaining lemon half into wedges. The noodles should be soft, and coated with a creamy mixture of beans. Taste, and add more salt, as needed. Stack, roll and cut half the larger basil leaves into thin ribbons. Toss them into the pan. Divide among individual wide, shallow bowls. Drizzle each portion with a little oil, then garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Serve warm or at room temperature, with the lemon wedges. —