Radiatori Pasta with Cannellini Beans and Tomatoes

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Radiatori pasta with cannellini beans and tomatoes is a delicious and nutritious vegetarian dish that will please even meat lovers. The beans give this pasta a protein boost and extra texture. You can also make it vegan by serving it without cheese.

image of an Italian dish

Beans and pasta are a match made in heaven, but the combination is not quite mainstream. And it’s a shame because beans are as good a source of protein as meat.

If you’re looking for a delicious vegetarian pasta recipe with Mediterranean-inspired flavours, these radiatori with cannellini beans and tomatoes are a perfect choice.

What is radiatori pasta?

A simple tomato sauce with lots of basil forms the base of this pasta with white beans that I make with radiatori shaped pasta. As you can see from the pics, radiatori is a very cute shape of pasta that comes with the advantage of being great with this particular type of sauce.

photo of radiatori pasta

The hollows in the design are great at trapping sauce, and the texture is a bit chewy when the pasta is cooked al dente, which is great for this white bean pasta sauce.

Quick fun fact — radiatori is a pasta shape that many believe it was inspired by the design of Bugatti radiators. However, they may have been created somewhere between the two World Wars. The industrial design might be inspired by an old shape of Italian heaters, which are called “radiatori” in Italian.

You can, of course, use any type of short pasta for this cannellini beans pasta sauce — penne, fusilli, farfalle and orecchiette all work great here.

image of radiatori pasta

How do you make pasta with cannellini beans ?

It only takes 20 minutes to make this pasta with white beans and spinach. You can make the sauce in the time it takes to bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta.

Start by heating the olive oil in a large pan and fry the shallot for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute until fragrant.

image of pasta cooking steps

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and basil and bring the sauce to a boil. Add the cannellini beans, stir well to combine, then cook for 5-6 minutes until the sauce thickens. If the sauce looks too thick, add a dash of pasta water.

pasta cooking step by step instructions

Stir in the shredded kale (and another dash of pasta water if needed) and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan and toss it well until it’s well coated in sauce. Stir in the parmesan and season to taste.

Serve with extra parmesan on top or with some crumbled feta cheese.

Make radiatori pasta vegan

You can easily make this pasta with cannellini beans vegan by skipping the parmesan in the sauce and not using feta cheese as a topping. You can also substitute the parmesan cheese with a vegan hard cheese alternative because the sauce might be a bit too runny without it.

photo of Italian radiatori pasta with cheese

Recipe notes and tips

  • You can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones if you want. Make sure you adjust the liquid, too, as they might not release as much juice as you get in a can of chopped tomatoes.
  • I use cannellini beans for this recipe, but butter beans or any other type of white beans would also be great in this pasta.
  • You can substitute the feta cheese with goat’s cheese or mozzarella.
  • This is a versatile recipe, so you can use some other veggies if you want. Courgettes, red or green peppers, and mushrooms are just some ideas.

If you liked this radiatori pasta with cannellini beans and tomatoes recipe, you might also like some of my other vegetarian pasta recipes:

Creamy Mushroom Marsala Pasta

Creamy Mushroom Zucchini Pasta

Easy Pasta with Lentils (Pasta e Lenticchie)

Vegetarian Pasta al Forno

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Yield: 4

Radiatori Pasta with Cannellini Beans and Tomatoes

a bowl of pasta

Radiatori pasta with cannellini beans and tomatoes is a delicious and nutritious vegetarian dish that will please even meat lovers. The beans give this pasta a protein boost and extra texture. You can also make it vegan by serving it without cheese.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250 g (8.8 oz) radiatori pasta (or another type of short pasta)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 x 400 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dry basil
  • 1 x 400 g (14 oz) can cannellini beans
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) kale, stems removed, shredded
  • 30 g (ounce) grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Instructions

    1. Bring a large pot of pasta to a boil and salt it generously. Cook the pasta 1 minute less than the time indicated on the package. Reserve some pasta water before draining.
    2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the shallot for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute until fragrant.
    3. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and basil and bring the sauce to a boil. Add the cannellini beans, stir well to combine, then cook for 5-6 minutes until the sauce thickens. If the sauce looks too thick, add a dash of pasta water.
    4. Stir in the shredded kale (and another dash of pasta water if needed) and cook for 2-3 minutes.
    5. Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan and toss it well until it's well coated in sauce. Stir in the parmesan and season to taste.
    6. Serve with extra parmesan on top or with some crumbled feta cheese.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 326Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 13mgSodium 551mgCarbohydrates 49gFiber 8gSugar 5gProtein 16g

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.

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