Fiber-rich beans stand in for the beef and pork in this surprisingly rich-tasting vegetarian take on pasta Bolognese. Without the meat, the dish has only a third of the fat and 80 percent less saturated fat. To make the perfect meal, serve with a peppery arugula salad and warm, crusty Italian bread.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, December 2006


Recipe Summary

40 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Put a large pot of water on to boil. Mash 1/2 cup beans in a small bowl with a fork.

  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and salt; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and bay leaf; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add wine; increase heat to high and boil until most of the liquid evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, 2 tablespoons parsley and the mashed beans. Bring to a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Add the remaining whole beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.

  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in the boiling water until just tender, about 9 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.

  • Divide the pasta among 4 bowls. Discard the bay leaf and top the pasta with the sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan and the remaining parsley.


Shopping tip: A can of salad beans, a mixture of chickpeas, kidney and pinto beans, adds depth and variety to this recipe. Look for it in the natural-foods section of larger supermarkets or natural-foods stores. If you can't find it, substitute a can of your favorite beans.

Nutrition Facts

442 calories; protein 17.9g 36% DV; carbohydrates 68.3g 22% DV; dietary fiber 13.2g 53% DV; sugars 8.7g; fat 11.1g 17% DV; saturated fat 2.7g 13% DV; cholesterol 8.6mg 3% DV; vitamin a iu 3509IU 70% DV; vitamin c 16.4mg 27% DV; folate 47.6mcg 12% DV; calcium 179mg 18% DV; iron 5.1mg 28% DV; magnesium 94.4mg 34% DV; potassium 507.3mg 14% DV; sodium 766.5mg 31% DV; thiamin 0.3mg 31% DV.

Reviews (30)

Read More Reviews
31 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 25
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 2 stars
Just ok I can see where this could be quite versatile but as is (if you fallow the directions as I did without changing anything) its rather bland. Texture is good time to fix was quite quick....even with cooking my own dry beans. But the flavor was just bland. it defiantly needs... something. Pros: it was quick and simple to make Cons: quite bland Read More
Rating: 5 stars
It came out great an alternative to a meaty meal. The guest were overpowered by the white wine though. And next time I will use the suggestion of adding tomato sauce. Laugh MD Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Really good pasta sauce. Good taste and texture. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was AMAZING!! and so affordable!! I made a few alterations: I used a dry rose wine (its all I had) I used cannelini beans I used a bit of red pepper flakes I used a whole wheat penne rigate I used no salt added diced tomatoes I added about a half a cup of the pasta cooking water to the sauce Oh and I added some extra parmesan reggiano into the pasta once I mixed it all together and then more on top!:) I highly recommend this recipe!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This is so simple to make yet delicious and impressive to guests. Even my kids (4 7 10) enjoyed it. The ingredients are very accessible and are always in my pantry or fridge. A sure keeper -- and I've already sent it out to several friends. Anonymous Mission KS Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Very good! I made this today and it was perfect! Pros: Different and flavorful Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This is one of my favorites! I made it quite often. Even my meat and potatoes husband likes it! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Nutritious and delicious! Will make again! No overwhelming flavors here - just the right blend for a great weekday dish for your family! I felt good about making this for my family because its nutrient rich with veggies beans and beans. I paired it with arugula salad and roma tomatoes as well as a sour dough roll. Will definitely make this again! Pros: vegetables beans whole grains - your mom would be proud! Cons: onions make me cry:/ Read More
Rating: 5 stars
YUM! I made this for myself and only cooked 1/2 the package of pasta and evenly split the bean mixture over it it turned out to be the perfect portions for one another. This gave me dinner and lunch which for me is economical on my budget. I used a can of diced tomatoes with roasted garlic & onions in place of 1/2 an onion and 4 cloves of garlic. I think that helped cut down on some of the taste you can get with straight onion & garlic and would definitely do that again. I also used separate cans of pinto kidney and garbanzo beans instead of salad beans since I typically have those on hand already in my pantry. Will absolutely keep this in my lineup of dinner selections! Pros: Healthy meatless tasty plenty of beany protein Cons: Adjust your measurements Read More