Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stock up.

If you don't have a variety of beans in your pantry, both dry and canned, you are missing great meals for pennies a serving.

When I crave a bowl of fettuccine and beans, I can whip the meal in ten minutes. The trick is to have  all ingredients in the pantry already.

Here is enough for six people:

1 lb of fettuccine
1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes
2 cans of cannellini beans, or white navy beans, drained and rinsed
2T olive oil for the sauce
1T olive oil for last minute topping
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 C of parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon of hot pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

1/2 C of grated Parmesan cheese

Put a big pot of water to boil for the pasta with a tablespoon of salt.

In a saute' pan saute the garlic and the pepper flakes in the olive oil for a couple of minutes, then add the peeled tomatoes, saving the juice.
Cook the tomatoes down, until they are broken up and incorporated. Add a bit of the juice  until you get a thick sauce consistency.  Add the beans and heat slowly. Season with salt and pepper. Finally, add the parsley flakes and turn off the sauce until the pasta is ready.

Cook the pasta until al dente, less than the recommended time!  Taste after half the time. Then, keep tasting until the strands are just right.
 Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
Add the beans and sauce  and mix gently. 

Serve with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil in each bowl. With crusty bread and a glass of your favorite wine, this is a meal ready in the time it takes to boil the water.

Note: dry beans cost pennies for serving.  Canned beans will cost a bit more.  Plain whole peeled tomatoes is all you need to make a great sauce. If you have fresh parsley, or basil, or thyme, your food will taste fresher.
Dried herbs will do a good job too.

You can use any type of pasta, and any type of beans you have on hand.  This is the classic combination, however.


  1. This looks so delicious. I really love beans, and it's given me a great idea for a meal from some friends who just had a new baby:-)

    Thank you, so much Rosaria, for your kind and supportive words to me, they mean so very much.

    Have a wonderful week!

  2. That looks yummy, I've never had pasta and beans before!

  3. That sounds delicious. I'm going to try that very soon! I'm glad you do "plain cooking," because that's what I like most. :)

  4. Yummy!! My mother calls this a "depression dish"...good food for minimum cost!

  5. Patricia, for sure, this is a poor-man dish. I figured pasta, tomatoes and beans will add up to about $6 and will feed six people. Can't get any cheaper.

    This same basic beans recipe, with the addition of carrots, celery, cabbage and potatoes, with a substitution of small elbow macaroni instead of fettuccine, will give you Minestrone.

    Minestrone will freeze beautifully if you omit the potatoes and pasta.

    I cook a great big pot of beans once a week or so. I use them in different ways until nothing is left.

  6. We've been investigating the world of beans since starting our Wellness program over a year ago. This sounds so simple and so good. I'm going to give it a try.

  7. was just looking for a new dish to try out this afternoon...glad to have found this at the right time :)

    thank you.

  8. That's perfect! I'm looking to fix more tasty vegetarian meals -- and this looks wonderful!