I’ve been obsessed with putting beans into pasta for about a year now. Any time I make noodles and want to do something other than marinara sauce (which is AJ’s favorite and his go-to meal when I haven’t planned anything out), I always end up finding some way to add beans. I usually go for the white variety because I feel that their flavor and texture lends itself to pasta in general, but I’m working on finding some way to use red beans and black beans. We’ll see what I come up with.
Our veggie box this week came pretty well-stocked. It’s been a bit of hit-or-miss, but this one was definitely good. Among some stone fruit, artichokes, and some beets was a giant bag of the spiciest arugula I’ve ever had and a giant zucchini. I mean giant. I should have taken a picture. [I know, I’m a horrible food blogger.]
So grill that zucchini (on an indoor griddle, or on the BBQ), throw in some tomatoes, a few cloves of fresh garlic, and a can of browned white beans and you’ve got a meal! Also entirely necessary (but really not) is gigli noodles. I actually planned on making this with orzo, but saw this pasta at the grocery store and couldn’t pass it up. I mean come on, the pasty is giggly! You can’t say that without smiling.
I do think the chunkier noodles work best with this; orzo wouldn’t have been the best choice due to the bulk of the other ingredients. If you can’t find gigli, stick with a larger noodle, such as rotini or farfalle.
You may have never browned beans before, but I’m telling you, it is good. You want to cook them stirring only every so often until they start to get a bit crisp on the outside. Yum-um-um. Then you’ll remove the pan from the heat and toss in your fresh herbs – this way they get wilted and cooked just enough to really amp up the flavor. Pile it up on a plate, add some Parmesan cheese if you want, and dig in!
Grilled Zucchini & White Bean Pasta
A quick and light summer pasta recipe featuring grilled zucchini, irresistible browned white beans, and ripe tomatoes. Perfect for dinner out on the porch!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6
- 1 giant zucchini, or 2-3 medium zucchini
- 1 lb gigli noodles*
- 2 Tbsp butter, vegan or otherwise
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano*
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme*
- 3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup torn arugula leaves
- salt & pepper
- Parmesan cheese, optional
- Boil the pasta according to package directions. Drain and briefly rinse with cool water, then return to the boiling pot. Add the butter and mix in.
- While the pasta cooks, slice the zucchini into 1/4″ rounds. Cook on an indoor griddle (I used my cast iron one) or out on the barbecue. Cook one side for a few minutes until nicely browned, then flip and cook the other side.
- While the zucchini and the noodles cook, start the beans. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, then add the drained & rinsed beans. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until nicely browned on all sides. Add the minced garlic, cook for 30 seconds, and remove from the heat. Add the fresh herbs and season with salt & pepper.
- Toss everything together including the arugula and top with Parmesan, if desired. Taste and adjust salt & pepper seasoning, if necessary. Eat!
~If you can’t find gigli noodles, rotini or farfalle would also work.
~If you don’t have fresh herbs, dried will also work. Use 2 tsp dried oregano and 1/2 tsp dried thyme. Add them to the skillet when the beans are about halfway through cooking.