Cavatappi with Sundried Tomatoes & Cannellini Beans

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You know how people go on and on about how you only need a few good ingredients to make something that tastes great?  You know how I am, in fact, one of those people?  Well, a recipe like this basically exemplifies that notion.  It absolutely could not be easier, the ingredient list is very short, but it’s really flavorful.

I’m not sure what amount of pasta is used in the original recipe, but I’m guessing a pound. I used 8 oz. of pasta, so I halved the ingredients Adam listed – except for the garlic, because we love garlic.  I also used 1 can of cannellini beans, which I think is probably closer to 1/3 of a lb. (at least, from a bag of dried cannellini beans you’d cook yourself) than 1/2 lb, but I think it was a good amount.

The beans give this pasta a nice meaty texture (and combined with whole wheat pasta, you definitely get a fiber boost!). I’m really glad I put extra garlic in this because the nice toasty flavor of it really came through.

Cavatappi with Sundried Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans

Inspired by Amateur Gourmet/Lidia Bastianich

8 oz. whole wheat cavatappi pasta, with 1.25 cups of the pasta cooking water reserved
1 Tbsp. oil from oil-packed sundried tomatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 fat cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
heaping 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, drained and sliced into strips
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Good extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, if desired

Cook the pasta until al dente in salted water.  Set aside 1.25 cups of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat the oil from the sundried tomatoes and the olive oil together in a large skillet  over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and fry it for about a minute before adding the red pepper flakes, and toast those for another 30 seconds or so.  Spread the sundried tomatoes out in the skillet and allow them to sizzle for a minute.  Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water.  Keep it simmering until it reduces down by half.

Add the beans, the remaining 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and some salt to taste. Bring to a boil and then cook at an active simmer for four minutes. Stir in the pasta.  Add the parsley and then, off the heat, add the romano/parmesan.  Season with freshly ground black pepper and, if you want, drizzle the plated pasta with some good extra virgin olive oil.

Cavatappi with Sundried Tomatoes & Cannellini Beans

  • Ooh! This is a fibre booster! I’ve never used beans in pasta dishes like this before…good for vegetarians. Must try.

  • This dish has it all Elly. Everything needed for a delicious dinner packed with flavour and nutrients.

  • This looks like an amazingly simple and flavorful dish! I love the beans and sundried tomatoes — thank you for showing that not everything has to be complicated!

  • I may be missing it…but it don’t see where it say the measurement for the sundried tomatoes. I have everything on hand for this!

    • Sigh, I have been doing that a lot lately, Melissa. Sorry! I just added the measurement. Thanks!

  • I love this! Simple and delicious is my favorite combination!!

  • I just realized that this is really similar to a white bean garlic dip I made recently, with the beans, sundried tomatoes, and of course garlic. I loved that dip, so I’m sure I’d love this too.

  • Love all these ingredients! Good stuff.

  • Sundried tomatoes are one of my favorite ingredients so this is right up my alley! I love the bean addition too!

  • Oooooh, that looks good. I think I’ll be trying this!

  • PG

    this dish looks really good – I almost forgot about cavatappi. I should pick up a box.

  • Cavatappi looks good and besides, I love the word…cavatappi….sounds delish, don’t it?

  • This is one of my favorite vegetarian quick and easy dinners! I first tried it right after Adam originally posted it, and we’ve used it as a go-to recipe ever since. I like that there are so few ingredients that I never forget one if I have to stop at the store on the way home! It’s especially amazing with the semi-dried tomatoes we sell at the Chopping Block… I’m addicted to them!

  • Robin

    Thank you for a lovely, simple, delicious recipe that even my meat loving husband raved about!

    • elly

      That’s great to hear, Robin!