Pasta with beans, tomatoes, and a simple cheese sauce

(read in Italian)

A delicious and simple homemade sauce for pasta made with red kidney beans, sautéed tomatoes, and aged cheese: this vegetarian recipe doesn’t need many words; it’s the ultimate comfort food with a good balance between deliciousness, nutrients, and simplicity.

Pasta with beans, tomatoes, and cheese
Pasta with beans, tomatoes, and cheese

THERE ARE A FEW THINGS I’M USUALLY LOOKING FOR IN A SAUCE FOR PASTA:

  • creaminess: nothing can beat pasta coated in a tasty sauce, even if it’s just made of tomatoes
  • flavor: the ideal sauce combines well with the pasta in a mouth-watering experience and the two flavors don’t cover each other
  • simplicity: the best sauce is the one you can prepare in the same time (or less) that takes you to cook the pasta
  • extra nutrients: the easiest way to create a more nutritious meal in minutes. No need to think about something else to pair with your bowl of pasta: simply add some ingredients in the sauce! If you don’t have anything that can help you in getting a creamy result, use the blender and, in a matter of minutes, you’ll turn a red pepper and a tbsp of tahini (just to give you an example) into a tasty pasta sauce

Sometimes all you’ll be looking for in a bowl of pasta will be taste and maybe you’ll want to eat or cook a specific recipe, so there’s no room for adding ingredients and extra nutrients: that’s absolutely fine! Not every meal needs to be perfectly balanced or with something extra: it’s important to know that you can create some recipes like the one in this post and use it as a chance to include more nutrients into your days, but this doesn’t mean that a simpler option is off the table.

This recipe with a simple cheese sauce (that somehow reminds me of a “cacio e pepe” pasta), red kidney beans, ripe tomatoes, and good quality extra virgin olive oil ticks all the boxes.

To get the best out of this meal, choose your favorite short-cut pasta: here I’ve used some homemade gnocchetti sardi, but orecchiette or mezze maniche would be delicious, too. Use gluten-free pasta if necessary.

Homemade pasta (gnocchetti sardi) to go with beans, tomatoes, and cheese
Ingredients for a simple pasta sauce with beans, tomatoes, and cheese
Sautéed tomatoes for the pasta sauce
Vegetarian pasta sauce with cheese, beans, and mint
Pasta with beans, tomatoes, and cheese

PASTA WITH BEANS, TOMATOES, AND CHEESE

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

  • 120 g dry pasta
  • 160 g cooked red kidney beans
  • 220 g ripe baby plum tomatoes (Datterini)
  • 3 tbsp grated aged cheese (a good cheese made with sheep’s milk would be perfect, but you can also use a mature cheddar or mix these two kinds of cheese)
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (better if freshly grounded)
  • extra virgin olive oil

For this recipe, you’ll need to cook your pasta a bit less than what you would do to make it “al dente”, so it won’t end up being overcooked. Cook your pasta as you would usually do in a pot of boiling water. When the pasta will be ready, set it aside (dry) tossed with a drizzle of olive oil.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan, then carefully add the tomatoes and the black pepper: stir for approx. 30 seconds then add 4-5 tbsp of warm water and use a fork to make one small hole in each tomato. Keep stirring the ingredients until there’s no water left. Set aside the tomatoes and add 4-5 tbsp of cooking water from the pasta into the same pan you’ve just used: add the grated cheese and stir well, then add the beans and the pasta. Keep stirring for approx. 30 seconds to 1 minute, until you’ll get a creamy result. Add the chopped mint leaves and the tomatoes at the end, just to warm them up. Serve warm to get the most out of the cheese sauce – add more black pepper on top if necessary and a sprinkle of grated cheese (optional).

If you liked this post, share it with your friends using the buttons below. Don’t forget to tag me @amatterofnourishment on Instagram if you try this recipe: I’d love to see your creations!

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