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Pasta with Borlotti Beans, Olives and Cherry Tomatoes

The Good News This recipe features good fat (olive oil), good carbs (dried beans) and good protein (cheese).

Plus: Pasta Recipes and Tips

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 cup dried borlotti or cranberry beans (6 ounces), soaked overnight or quick-soaked and drained
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • 1/2 pound tubetti, mezzi rigatoni or other pasta
  • 12 pitted oil-cured black olives
  • Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 hours. Keep adding water as necessary so the beans are always submerged in 1 inch of water. Remove them from the heat and season with salt. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cherry tomatoes and oregano and cook for 3 minutes. Add the beans and 1/4 cup of their cooking liquid and simmer for 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup more of the bean cooking liquid and simmer for 3 minutes. Season with salt.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well.
  4. Add the pasta to the beans along with another 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Simmer for 1 minute and add the olives. Add more cooking liquid if necessary to coat the pasta and beans with a sauce. Ladle into bowls and serve, passing the pecorino and olive oil at the table.


Quick-Soaking for Dried Beans Rinse the beans, then transfer to a saucepan and cover with water. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour; drain.

One Serving 505 cal, 17.7 gm fat, 2.2 gm saturated fat, 66 gm carb, 19 gm fiber.

Contributed By Photo © James Baigrie Published November 2004

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