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White Bean and Black Pepper Pasta

Elena Besser

Chef notes

This is the most genius way to use leftover beans. By mashing the beans with some reserved pasta water, you create this wonderfully velvety, creamy, rich sauce that perfectly coats pasta and makes for a deliciously filling and easy dinner.


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound pasta (bow-tie, penne, shells, rigatoni or bucatini)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 large yellow or white onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups leftover marinated white beans, divided (recipe linked above)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving



Bring a large pot of water to a boil over a high heat. Once boiling, add in a generous amount of kosher salt.


Drop your pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, until al dente. Save 1 cup of pasta water.


In a separate pot, add in 1 tablespoon olive oil and diced onion. Season with kosher salt and cook over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add thinly sliced garlic, stir to combine and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes.


In the same pot, add the leftover marinated beans. Warm through, using a spoon to break up the beans and mash them into a sauce, 3-4 minutes. Add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper (about 1 tablespoon) and stir to combine.


With the heat off, add the drained pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Add in 1/2 cup pasta water, continue to stir to help marry the pasta with the sauce. Add additional pasta water, if needed.


Mix in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Plate, drizzle with olive oil and top with the remaining cheese.