Creamy White Bean Rosemary Pasta

creamy white bean rosemary pasta

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!


Creamy White Bean Rosemary Pasta

Simple pantry ingredients combine to make a luxurious, comforting dish in no time. 

  • Author: A Tavola Kitchen
  • 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
  • ¾1 cup reserved pasta water
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 
  • Fresh rosemary for garnishing (optional)


  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan over a medium flame. Once oil is hot, add garlic.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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

CategoriesDinner Vegetarian
  1. Tianna says:

    Absolutely loved making this! So simple to toss together and tastes so gourmet. I didn’t have parmesan the second time I had it, and it was still super tasty. Takes just a few minutes and I felt like a chef.

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