Monday, June 29, 2009

Whole Wheat Penne with Tomato Zucchini Sauce and White Beans

We haven’t had a bean dish in our house in a few days so today I decided to cook a pound of great northern beans. I cook a lot of beans at my house. I never cook less than a full pound of beans. Cooked beans freeze well. Even if you have a small family, I highly recommend cooking a full pound of beans. Beans are a wonderful source of low fat protein that is packed with fiber.

This recipe is hearty and very filling. When I make this sauce I always make an entire box of whole wheat pasta so that we have lunch leftovers for the week. This recipe is packed with a variety of healthy ingredients that you can feel good about feeding your family.

The cooked tomatoes contain lycopene that are reported to protect our men from prostate cancer. Garlic is a nutritional powerhouse that the National Cancer Institute has deemed to have anticarcinogenic properties. When you are cooking with garlic be certain to slice or mince it and allow it sit for 10 minutes before you heat it to allow sufficient time for the allicin to develop. Onions are a good source of quercitin and are also reported to have anticancer properties. Many herbs (rosemary included) are packed with antioxidants and are great to include for both flavor and health reasons. The whole wheat pasta and white beans are packed with fiber and protein. The combination of rosemary and white beans is very Tuscan.

Whole Wheat Penne with Tomato Zucchini Sauce and White Beans
Makes 6 large entrée sized servings


1 red onion, minced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
28 ounces of fire roasted diced tomatoes
14 ounces of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 - 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, minced
3 cups of cooked white beans
2 zucchini, halved and cut thinly into half moons
13.25 ounces of whole wheat penne pasta
6 quarts of water
1 tablespoon of kosher salt


In a large pot sauté the minced onion and garlic in olive oil until it is tender and starting to caramelize. Add the tomatoes, kosher salt, black pepper and rosemary and cook for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.

Meanwhile bring the 6 quarts of water to a boil in another pot. When the water boils add the tablespoon of kosher salt and drop in the whole wheat penne. Stir the pasta for the first 30 seconds to make certain it doesn’t clump together as the starch releases from the surface of the pasta. Set a timer for 2 minutes less than the cooking time on the box. Al dente pasta has a lower glycemic index than pasta that is cooked completely. When you remove the pasta it should be mostly cooked, but still have a little resistance when you bite into it.

While the pasta is cooking add the cooked white beans and zucchini to the tomato sauce. You don’t want the white beans to fall apart in the sauce, or for the zucchini to get mushy in the sauce.

Drain the pasta (reserving a cup of two of the pasta cooking liquid) and add the drained pasta directly to the sauce. Stir the pasta into the sauce to evenly coat it with the sauce. If your pasta is too dry slowly add a little of the reserved cooking liquid until the dish is saucy enough for you. By cooking the pasta for a minute in the sauce you are encouraging the pasta to absorb the flavor of the sauce.

Serve this dish while still hot with a green salad as the side dish.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 483.42
Calories From Fat (9%) - 44.54

Total Fat - 5.11g
Saturated Fat - 0.52g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 681.4mg
Potassium - 1327.69mg
Total Carbohydrates - 93.07g
Fiber - 17.7g
Sugar - 10.4g
Protein - 21.6g


This dish reminds me of the things I love about Tuscany. The combination of rosemary, white beans and tomatoes is so familiar and comforting. This pasta dish is full of the intoxicating aroma from the fresh rosemary. The nutritional information on this dish is fantastic. The fat content is low, and the fiber and protein are high given the serving size.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails