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Pasta with Beans and Fresh Tomato

This recipe is definitely a favorite in our house!  My family loves it because it's so delicious, and I love it because it's a great, quick and easy weeknight meal.  Make this recipe, and enjoy a gourmet meal that takes only slightly more effort than opening a jar of marinara! (:
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta
  • ¾ pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Tbsp good olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 and ½

    tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup basil chiffonade
  • 15 oz can garbonzo beans or cannellini beans
  • Parmesan, freshly grated (omit to keep this meal vegan)
  • 1 Tbsp butter, cubed (omit to keep this meal vegan)

Instructions

Cook the tomatoes and garlic

  • Rinse the tomatoes and cut them in halves. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, and add the olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and sea salt. Toss until the tomatoes are coated in oil.
  • Cook the tomatoes over medium heat until they are sizzling and begin to release their juices, about 3 minutes. If the tomatoes start to stick to the pan, give them a toss.
  • 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 their juices, about 10-15 minutes.

Add the chickpeas

  • Now add the chickpeas, toss until everything is evenly distributed, and turn off the heat. This mixture is basically your pasta sauce, so if you taste it and it is a little salty, that is good! You will add the tomato, garlic, and bean mixture to the cooked pasta, and the pasta will dilute the flavor. So a little salty at this point is good!
  • Take a spatula and lightly press down on the tomatoes to help even more juice escape, if desired.

Cook the pasta and mix in the tomato/garlic/bean mixture

  • Cook you pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and put back in the pot.
  • Now carefully pour your tomato/garlic/bean mixture over the pasta. Use your spatula to get all the juices out of the skillet and into your pasta. Toss the mixture into the pasta until well coated. Next sprinkle in the basil and toss. Now sprinkle in a little freshly grated parmesan (if using) and toss.

Add the butter

  • Take the cubed butter (if using) and toss it into the warm pasta until the butter is evenly distributed and has melted.

Plate, Serve, and Enjoy!

  • Plate the pasta, garnish each plate with more parmesan, and serve alone, or with a bed of greens and Gardein. Enjoy!

Notes

This dish can really adapt to whatever herbs and beans you have on hand.  If fresh herbs are hard to come by, or it’s winter and they are expensive, substitute about 1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning (or to taste) for the basil chiffonade.  
Alternately, you could use chopped parsley or cilantro in place of the basil.  My husband actually prefers this dish with cilantro and garbonzo beans as the herb/bean combination, no parmesan.  I have never tried it, but you could also sub black beans and do a cilantro/black bean combination.  Yum!
Keep this meal vegan by omitting the Parmesan and the butter.