I should start by saying that this recipe isn’t pasta and beans, or pasta e fagioli, in the traditional Italian sense.
There are beans and pasta in this recipe. But it’s not soup-like in any way.
We make this meal for dinner so often, we simply started calling it “pasta and beans” somewhere along the way.
Pasta and Beans with Tomato
In this recipe, the tomatoes are cooked in a little olive oil. They break down and become the sauce for the pasta.
Add some drained garbanzo beans, white beans, or dark red kidney beans, along with a little bit of fresh basil, parsley, or even cilantro, and you’ve got a light, homemade pasta sauce that’s also packed with protein.
A Versatile Dish
I love that this pasta dish is a 30 minute meal.
I also love how versatile it is. The fact that you can use just about any bean you’ve got on hand—I prefer the three mentioned above—makes it incredibly easy to pull this dish together any night of the week.
The same goes for the herb you choose to put in the tomatoes. Basil is the most traditional, and probably our family’s favorite, but sometimes basil isn’t available.
Or it’s too expensive.
So use parsley or cilantro instead. They’re cheaper alternatives that are usually available year round. And the dish is just as delicious with either one.
Vegan, Vegetarian, & Gluten-Free Options
This meal is vegan and vegetarian. It’s gluten-free if you use gluten-free pasta.
You can finish the pasta off with some freshly grated Parmesan. (At this point it’s no longer vegan, of course.) We often do, but it’s not necessary. The dish stands alone without it.
Make Pasta and Beans!
Make my pasta and beans with tomato this week. It’ll become the easy family favorite it is for us.
Pasta and Beans with Tomato
- 1 pound pasta
- ¾ pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½tsp sea salt
- ⅓ cup basil chiffonade, (or minced parsley or cilantro)
- 1 15 oz can garbonzo beans or cannellini beans, drained
- Parmesan, freshly grated (omit to keep this meal vegan)
Cook the pasta
- Start by boiling the pasta water in a large soup pot, and proceed to cook the pasta according to package instructions.
- The pasta should finish cooking at about the same time as the tomatoes and beans.
Cook the tomatoes and garlic
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet. Turn the heat on to medium, and heat the oil for 30 seconds. Now add the halved tomatoes, garlic, and sea salt. Toss until the tomatoes are coated in oil.
- Cook the tomatoes over medium heat until they sizzle and begin to release their juices, about 3-5 minutes. If the tomatoes start to stick to the pan, give them a toss.
- Now turn the heat down to low. If the pan seems a little dry, add a little bit more olive oil. Cook the tomatoes on low until they release more juice and break down considerably, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the chickpeas
- Now add the chickpeas to the pan, toss until everything is evenly distributed, and turn off the heat. Add 2 Tbsp of basil to the pan, and mix the basil into the tomato and chickpea mixture.
- Set aside the tomato and chickpea mixture until the pasta finishes cooking.
Put it all together
- The pasta should finish cooking just after the tomato and chickpea mixture.
- Drain the pasta, and put it back in the pot you cooked it in.
- Now pour the tomato and chickpea mixture into the pasta. Be sure to get all the tomato juices. Toss the mixture into the pasta, until the pasta is completely coated.
- Stir the remaining basil into the pasta.
Serve and enjoy!
- Sprinkle additional basil and Parmesan, if desired, on top of each individual serving. Enjoy!