Rigatoni, white beans and browned butter

Last night’s dinner turned out phenomenally well, a creamy mix of rigatoni and white beans. The most amazing part was the sauce naturally created from the starchy pasta and beans combined with browned garlic butter.

I intended to make this using penne but realized the penne I recently bought was very small for some reason. I wanted a larger shape and found a bag of rigatoni instead. I cooked it to al dente and drained, reserving about 1 cup of the hot pasta water.

In a large pan, I melted 4 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. I let the butter cook over medium heat until it bubbled and turned a light shade of brown, then I added a clove of minced garlic and 1 can drained (but not rinsed) white beans. Stir to combine and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh sage and 1/2 cup sliced roasted peppers. Add the pasta to the pan and toss to combine. Add the reserved pasta water and stir pasta until the water is reduced. Season to taste.

The creamy bean texture combined with the browned butter made for a flavorful and wonderful sauce – with sage and garlic, you can’t go wrong. Unfortunately, there aren’t any leftovers … mostly because I kept picking pieces of pasta out of the pan each time I walked through the kitchen after dinner. I really REALLY liked this.

Rigatoni, white beans and browned butter
3/4 lb. rigatoni*
1 can white beans, drained but not rinsed
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup sliced roasted peppers (from jar, packed in oil)

*I used about 3/4 of a 1lb bag — I think you could round this up and use the whole pound.

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  • Manggy March 7, 2008, 10:52 am

    Gasp!! You didn’t rinse the beans? Did your domestic life suffer? Kidding… I actually am not too paranoid about the whole bean thing.. In fact I love them! A brown butter sauce would indeed be the best way to convert those who are still afraid of them :)

  • Allen March 7, 2008, 11:00 am

    Manggy: I’m not afraid of unrinsed beans – the domestic life managed just fine. I’d rather have the creamy goodness of the beans maintained and not rinsed away :-)

    Shouldn’t you be on plane or something? Or are you already here?

  • Peter M March 7, 2008, 11:11 am

    Allen, lent is near for us Greeks and this could help fill my belly up, nice earthy pasta dish.

  • Manggy March 7, 2008, 11:21 am

    Plane leaves in the evening– I have a good 17 hours to suck in all the great Filipino air I can, ha ha.

  • Allen March 7, 2008, 11:29 am

    Peter: Oh you’re right, a perfect lent dish!

    Manggy: HA! I think you should be more worried about 17 hours without internet access :-)

  • Peter G March 7, 2008, 3:18 pm

    Great, simple flavours Allen…a perfect combination of buttery goodness.

  • kat March 7, 2008, 4:18 pm

    oh, i’ve made something similar in the past but the addition of roasted red peppers sounds fabulous! This will goon next week’s menu for sure!

  • kellypea March 7, 2008, 5:28 pm

    YUM. This is one of our favorite flavor combos right now. There are so many ways to mix and match. I usually rinse the beans, and just do it automatically not really thinking about why. Have you tried this combo with some fresh spinach tossed in to wilt a bit, or some kale? Totally excellent.

  • Ben March 7, 2008, 8:33 pm

    That looks really good! I like pasta with beans, but I should’ve added a little bit of white wine. Yummy

  • StickyGooeyCreamyChewy March 7, 2008, 11:52 pm

    Great dish! I love pasta and beans together. The browned butter sounds so good! What kind of white beans did you use? I make something similar with cannellini beans and escarole.

  • Allen March 8, 2008, 12:06 am

    Peter G: Thank you!

    Kat: I’ve been adding roasted peppers to everything lately :-)

    Kellypea: I haven’t tried this dish with greens but do love greens mixed with pasta. Kale would be excellent – will have to try that next!

    Ben: Oh, white wine would be good!

    Sticky: Thanks! They were a small white bean, literally called ‘white beans’. I usually have cannellinis in the cupboard but the store was out last time, so I tried these instead. They worked well — I liked that they were so small since many of them slid into the rigatoni. Each bite of rigatoni contained creamy beans on the inside :-)

  • kat March 14, 2008, 12:25 pm

    Allen – I made this last night & it was so good! I gave you a little shout out on my blog today http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com/2008/03/pasta-with-white-beans-browned-butter.html

  • Melly January 7, 2010, 1:13 pm

    Okay…I’ve added these ingredients to my grocery list. Love pasta with beans. A little sage in that brown butter would be nice too…or did I miss that part?

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