Crispy, green and white bean pasta | Passionate about wine


One Friday afternoon, I found myself looking for a way to combine my favorite comfort foods (pasta and beans) with a bit of cleaning the fridge. I liked what I found, but thought it could be improved, so I did it again. And even. As such, this is a flexible recipe – use whatever greens, nuts, and cheese you have. Skip the cheese if you’re vegan or dairy-free. If you really want to up the comfort factor, use finer rather than coarse crumbs and bake them at 375°F, like casserole.


These small white beans have a greenish tint before cooking. Common to French cuisine, they’re creamy, thin-skinned, and mild-tasting, making them a great option for bean skeptics. Other white beans, such as Great Northern or cannellini, have an equally mild flavor but a slightly more starchy texture.


Fine sea salt

8 ounces dried pasta in short, dense form such as orecchiette, radiator or campanelle

2 cups mixed greens and tender herbs, such as spinach, carrot tops, parsley, basil

¼ cup walnuts

8 medium garlic cloves

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups cooked flageolet beans (recipe below), or 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

½ cup coarse breadcrumbs

toasted 1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)


Bring salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions.

Meanwhile, combine greens and herbs, nuts and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until pasty. With processor running, slowly pour in olive oil until incorporated. Season with salt, to taste.

When the pasta is cooked, set aside ½ cup of cooking water. Drain the pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Toss with mixed greens and beans, adding bean cooking liquid and/or pasta water until saucy.

(The cooking liquid from the beans is tastier; the pasta water tempers the garlic. Select and mix to taste.) Season with salt, to taste.

Top with breadcrumbs and Parmesan, if using. For 4 people.

How to cook flageolet beans

In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, such as a miniature Dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat. Add 1 chopped rib celery¼ cup chopped yellow onion and 2 tablespoons ground Garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and tender but not browned.

Add 8 ounces dried beans. Stir to coat. Add ¼ cup dry white winepinch dried Rosemarysmall pinch fennel seed½ teaspoon fine sea salt and boiling water cover the beans by 2 inches. Adjust heat to maintain simmer, partially cover, and cook until beans are tender, usually 1 to 2 hours. Season with salt, to taste.

wine pairing

Kuentz-Bas 2019 Gewurztraminer (Alsace)

Although dry, this wine carries honeyed notes that will play well with nuts and toasted breadcrumbs. Its peppery flavors and crisp acidity will cut through the earthy flavors of the beans, and its grassy notes are perfectly suited to the herbs and garlic in this dish.

This article originally appeared in the February/March 2022 issue of Passionate about wine magazine. Click here to subscribe today!

Posted on March 7, 2022


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