This pasta with white bean sauce is one of the ultimate comfort food dishes for me. I know I have told you all before that my Italian grandma made tons of things like lasagna and twice baked potatoes all the time growing up. Those dishes were sort of special occasion food, but this pasta with white bean sauce was one of her staples. She would make this about once a week.
And I totally get why. It’s so easy to make, budget friendly, reasonably healthy (not that I think my butter and olive oil loving Grandma cared about that) and totally delish.
You wouldn’t think it, but white beans get super creamy when they cook. It makes the sauce feel like it might have some extra cream or tons of cheese, when it doesn’t. It’s like a magic trick, and I am all about it.
With my way of making it, this meal comes together in about 20-25 minutes. Now, when my Grandma made it, she’d let the sauce slowly simmer all day long. I clearly remember her standing over it in the kitchen, periodically stirring. And I, of course, remember snatching tastes all day with crusty pieces of Italian bread.
I was really an obnoxious kid. I kind of wish I could apologize to both my grandmothers now. Between stealing food and just generally wreaking havoc…oy. My adult self is quasi embarrassed remember things I did to them. Like one time, on a family road trip to the Outer Banks, I got stuck in the way back of the mini van and proceeded to play Barbie dolls on my Nana’s head. I’ll never forget it. At a rest stop in Virginia, she took me aside and said, “Jenna, if you keep playing those dolls on my head. Santa won’t come.”
I looked at her and flippantly replied, “There’s no Santa.”
(Told you. I was obnoxious.)
She said, “Maybe not. But I buy presents only for good grandchildren that deserve it.” Then she calmly walked away. I just stood there with my jaw hanging open. You bet when we got back in the car I didn’t dare play dolls on her head. Win for Nana.
So, really, I was obnoxious and clearly required tons of time and energy from my poor grandmothers. But even so, my one Grandma always made this pasta with white beans. Because it was that easy. And delicious. Can’t go wrong.
Looking for other pasta recipes? Try these:
- Gluten Free Lasagna
- Pumpkin Penne with Peas, Parmesan, and Sage
- Brown Butter Lobster Pasta
- Cheesy Chicken Ziti Skillet
- Quick and Easy Bruschetta Pasta
Yields 4-6 servings
Serves 4-6 serving
Pasta with White Beans in a Light Tomato Sauce
5 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 1 package of spaghetti*
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 c of white wine
- 2 cans of white beans (approximately 4 c), drained and rinsed
- 29 ounces of tomato puree
- 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- crushed red pepper to taste
- fresh basil for garnish
- Heat a large skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Add the white beans and season with salt and pepper and crushed garlic.
- Add wine and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the wine reduces down by half, approximately 6 minutes. Add tomato puree. Cook until slowly bubbling.
- Add additional salt and pepper if needed. Finish with crushed red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
- Serve over pasta.
*We used gluten free spaghetti.