Turn humble pasta and beans gourmet by adding roasted vegetables, fresh mint and tangy, salty aged goat cheese. When making a pasta dish with beans, you can use some of the bean-cooking liquid to give the sauce silky body and help it cling to the pasta. If you're using canned beans, use some of the pasta-cooking liquid or just water.

Vanessa Barrington
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2009




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise and then slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Quarter zucchini lengthwise. Toss the fennel and zucchini with 1 tablespoon oil and salt. Arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast, turning once, until soft and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions.

  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.

  • When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, coarsely chop. Add the vegetables, beans and bean-cooking liquid (or other liquid) to the pan with the garlic and place over medium-low heat. Drain the pasta and immediately add it to the pan. Toss thoroughly and add tomatoes; toss until just warm. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese and mint. Season with pepper.


Tip: How to Cook a Pot of Beans

1. Pick over 1 pound dry beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse well under cold water. Place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for 4 to 24 hours.
2. When you're ready to cook the beans, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped celery stalk (optional). Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pan. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans. If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup hot water. When the beans are nearly soft, stir in 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. (Do not drain: beans are best stored in their cooking liquid and the li

Makes about 6 cups.

Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.

Nutrition Facts

512 calories; protein 19.6g; carbohydrates 61.4g; dietary fiber 11.6g; sugars 7.7g; fat 21.7g; saturated fat 7.1g; cholesterol 22.3mg; vitamin a iu 1548.2IU; vitamin c 29.5mg; folate 106.8mcg; calcium 280.1mg; iron 5mg; magnesium 65.4mg; potassium 981mg; sodium 364.2mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Reviews (6)

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6 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
excellent A hearty and nutritious pasta dish. I substituted parmesan for the goat cheese and parsley for the mint. Loved it! Pros: filling and nutritious Cons: a salad on the side would make this perfect. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Very nice recipe. I was a little concerned that it might be bland since there isn't really any seasoning to speak of except for a little pepper at the end however it turned out to be quite flavorful and filling. I do not care for goat cheese so I substituted feta instead but otherwise made the recipe as written. I also forgot to save some of the pasta cooking water until most of it was already down the drain but I used the little I did save plus more from the tap and it turned out great. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Wow this recipe is pretty simple but tastes like something you would get in an Italian restaurant. I would cut the fennel smaller next time as it roasted much slower than the zucchini. The goat cheese really pulls all the flavors together. Since I used canned white beans I used the pasta cooking liquid. This will be on my list of favorite pasta dishes. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Made this in skillet. Used canned beans petite diced tomatoes (no salt added) and parmesan cheese. Instead of mint (didn't have it) I used the fronds from the fennel. Also used 1 1/2 cups veggie broth. Covered and simmered till everything was cooked. Took about 20 minutes. Was so good! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Great use of fennel This is a favorite at our house! I leave out the beans because I dislike them but make the rest as written. Stirring in the goat cheese on medium heat not only evenly distributes the flavor but makes everything hold together a little better. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This recipe turned out really well! I made a few edits including the addition of some celery since I didn't have enough fennel. I also added some veggie broth since I used canned beans and frozen leftover pasta so I didn't have bean or pasta cooking water. I also added some fresh chopped basil and grated pecorino on top since I didn't have mint or goat cheese. It was a hit with some picky eaters and a great way to use some fresh CSA produce! I will definitely be making this recipe again. Read More