White Bean Pasta with Pesto

White Bean Pasta with Pesto 

Oh, hey! PASTA.

Beans and pasta, to be precise.

This is one of those dinners that once I started making it, I wondered why I haven’t been making it for years. It’s so quick and easy, plus it’s packed with flavor (and protein!). Technically you could make this white bean pesto pasta with whatever sort of pasta you like, but I prefer to make it with orecchiette

What are you waiting for? Let’s get cooking! 



  • Set a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, place the onion and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until pureed.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan set over medium heat. Add the onion-garlic puree along with the red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened and lost their bite; about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook 1- or 2-minutes according to package directions (until there is just the slightest bite left in the center).
  • When the pasta is nearly done cooking, add the tomato paste and beans to the onion-garlic mixture. Strain the pasta, reserving one cup of cooking water. Add half of the reserved cooking water to the tomato-onion mixture and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until well-combined and slightly reduced.
  • Add the butter and drain pasta to the pan and toss well. Add enough of the remaining half cup pasta cooking water to mostly submerge the pasta. Cook until the pasta is tender and the sauce is very thick, another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir half of the pesto into the pasta; taste and add salt as desired. Serve hot, with crusty bread and fresh arugula (optional). Garnish with the remaining pesto.


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