After spending last week eating, drinking, and brunching my way around NYC (think Ippudo Ramen, Cookie ‘Do’, Crif Dogs and cocktails) this week, my heart – and my stomach – was crying out for something a little lighter and simpler. Enter 10-minute lent-worthy Greek Pasta with Beans, Greens, and Tomatoes.
Seriously, you can put this dish on the table in 15 minutes from start to finish. Add a fresh green salad and a glass of red wine and you have yourself a meal that’s light, fuss-free, healthy, and full of flavor. Even Mr. EN didn’t complain about it being (gasp!) meatless.
Choosing Canned Tomatoes. I love canned tomatoes! If you check my cupboard on any given day, you’ll probably find five or six different kinds. For this recipe, I used Italian-style diced tomatoes that contained basil, oregano, and garlic. The tomatoes I used were NOT salt-free, so if you are trying to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet choose low-salt or no-salt flavored tomatoes. (I’m not gonna lie, I like using the salted, vs. the unsalted, canned tomatoes in this dish best.)
Why cannellini beans? Cannellini beans are very mild in flavor and do an especially good job of absorbing the flavors that surround them in a dish. Just about any canned bean will work in this recipe. Use what you have and be sure to thoroughly rinse them. Rinsing gets rid of 40% of the sodium and removes the starchy liquid that will without a doubt, dilute the flavors in your dish.
How much pasta for two? This recipe makes enough for two people to eat twice. This way, you use the entire can of beans and tomatoes. When it comes to pasta dishes, we often cook once and eat twice. If you are making a different recipe, and you want to make just enough pasta for two servings, use about 4 ounces of dry pasta. (More if you like a bigger serving.)
To rinse or not to rinse? In life, there are rinsers and there are non-rinsers. I am a non-rinser most of the time. For this recipe, definitely. Sometimes I rinse for pasta salad but not always. (More on that in another post.)
Kick it up a notch: There are many ways to make this dish a little more sophisticated. Choose one or more of these easy add-ins:
- Sprinkle a teaspoon of fresh snipped basil or finely chopped fresh oregano on top
- Add two tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives to the diced tomatoes and beans when heating
- Just before serving, drizzle with a little basil flavored olive oil
Got 15 minutes? Give this easy healthy dish a try.
Peace, love, and good eats, from our Empty Nest to yours.
*** Now trending in the Empty Nest Kitchen: Olive Cart Basil Leaf Olive Oil
Greek Pasta with Beans, Greens, and Tomatoes
Yield 4 Servings
Healthy and quick. This is one of our go-to, easy pasta favorites. Meatless Mondays here we come!
- 8 ounces multi-grain penne pasta
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with garlic, basil, and oregano (do not drain)
- 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 6-8 cups baby spinach, arugula, or mixed tender greens
- ¼-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Optional – 1-2 teaspoons basil olive oil
- Cook pasta per package instructions. Drain.
- While pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Don't let the garlic burn!
- To the skillet, add the tomatoes with juice and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.
- Add the beans and spinach to the tomato sauce and cook 2 minutes more, or just until the spinach wilts.
- Add cooked pasta to the sauce, stir well, and heat through (about 3 minutes.)
- Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve. If using, drizzle with a little basil olive oil just before serving.
Serving Size 1 1/2 cups
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 8 mg
Sodium 250 mg
Total Carbohydrates 69 g
Dietary Fiber 13 g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 20 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.