This creamy white bean rosemary pasta is like a hug from your pantry — and couldn’t we all use more of those these days? Simple pantry ingredients combine to make a dish that is so much more than the sum of its parts. My dad made this dish on the fly one day with what he had available, and it’s been a staple in his house and mine ever since! I even used to make this recipe in the common room’s kitchen in college, and the aromas from the garlic, rosemary, and red-pepper flake would inevitably draw interest and envy. This dish is perfectly suited to adult life too, as I now appreciate more than ever a meal that comes together in 30 minutes or less.
You may know that pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) is a classic dish in Italy. It’s often served as soup and is usually not made with white beans. This version is truly unique, and so flavorful and comforting without being heavy. I think you’ll love it.
What’s in this pasta dish
You may already have everything you need to make this comforting recipe:
- Extra virgin olive oil: no surprise here, this heart-healthy fat goes into almost everything I make.
- Canned white beans, such as cannellini or great Northern: the beans break down as they cook to create a luxurious and creamy sauce.
- Garlic: I like to use a lot in this dish, but you can adjust based on your taste.
- Crushed red pepper flake: again, feel free to adjust based on preference.
- Dried rosemary: to balance out the garlic and red pepper flake.
- Parmigiano for topping: do I need to explain? (If you’re interested in learning more about Parmigiano vs. parmesan, you can see my thoughts here.)
- Whole wheat pasta: this can be an acquired taste if you’re used to using regular pasta. Feel free to swap out if you prefer — but I love the way the heartiness of the whole wheat stands up to this sauce. I’m a big fan of DeLallo’s whole wheat pastas; they have the biggest shape variety I’ve seen and taste delicious.
Serve this creamy white bean rosemary pasta with a no frills side salad with white wine vinaigrette, and you have a meal ready in no time! If you try this recipe, please leave a comment and rating below to let me know what you think. I hope it becomes a staple in your house like it is in mine!Print
Creamy White Bean Rosemary Pasta
Simple pantry ingredients combine to make a luxurious, comforting dish in no time.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- 8 oz whole wheat pasta, such as penne or mostaccioli
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp crushed dried rosemary
- ¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flake, depending on your spice tolerance
- 1 15 oz can white beans, such as Great Northern or Cannellini, drained
- Salt and pepper
- ¾–1 cup reserved pasta water
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Fresh rosemary for garnishing (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Be sure to generously salt your pasta water, and reserve about a cup of it for later on.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan over a medium flame. Once oil is hot, add garlic.
- As soon as the garlic begins to take on color, add the rosemary and red pepper flake. You’ll want to act quickly to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Once the rosemary and red pepper flake are fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute, add the drained white beans and season generously with salt and pepper. You can add the beans even sooner if you are worried your garlic might burn.
- Adjust your flame to medium-high. Cook the beans for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture has taken on a golden-reddish hue from the red pepper flake.
- Add about ¾ cup of water to the beans and bring to a light boil. Lower flame and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Use a wooden spoon or the back of a fork to mash some of the beans – this will create the extra creamy consistency that makes this dish so delicious!
- Your sauce will probably be ready before the pasta has finished cooking. Turn off the flame and cover the pan to keep warm in the meantime.
- Add the drained pasta to the sauce and stir together over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds. If too dry, add some reserved pasta water.
- Divide among bowls and sprinkle with grated parmesan and fresh rosemary, if using.
- If you’re new to whole wheat pasta, it can be an acquired taste. I will admit it doesn’t go well with every kind of sauce, but in this dish I love how the hearty whole grains stand up to the beans. I like to use DeLallo’s whole wheat pasta. It tastes great, and they have a wide selection of fun shapes.
- Calories: 449
- Sugar: 3.3 g
- Sodium: 154.2 mg
- Fat: 11.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 70.6 g
- Fiber: 13.7 g
- Protein: 19.7 g
- Cholesterol: 3.6 mg
Keywords: pasta, simple, vegetarian