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I have a soft spot for those unreasonably large Greek “gigantes” beans. They’re lima beans, maybe? They’re fat and meaty and they make their presence known. Here they nestle into a soft bed of pasta and roasted vegetables. Small white beans could be fun too, though, especially if you use a shell pasta shape and let them get lost in the pasta swirls. Either way, the beans and pasta are elevated one step beyond peasant food by the sweet, flavorful roasted vegetables. Serve with a bracing, crisp, lemony salad for a nice flavor and texture contrast.
What’s your favorite fall pasta dish? I want more food like this in my life right now.
Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes, Roasted Broccoli, and White Beans: Halve or quarter several Roma tomatoes and toss them with olive oil and salt, then place them skin side down on one side of a rimmed baking sheet. Chop broccoli into medium florets and toss with olive oil and salt, and spread on the other side of the same baking sheet. Roast vegetables at 450, stirring broccoli occasionally, until broccoli is browned in places and the tomatoes are roasted and juicy.
Meanwhile, cook 3/4 lb. short pasta in plenty of salted boiling water. While the pasta water heats, saute a red onion in a wide pan over high heat until golden, then add a handful of minced garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in 2-3 c. white beans, the roasted vegetables, and some of the bean cooking liquid (or some of the pasta water). Drain the pasta when it is done cooking (or a minute sooner if you want your pasta al dente in the finished dish; I wanted mine soft here to contrast with the meaty beans), and add the pasta to the pan of beans and vegetables. Add additional bean or pasta water to achieve a saucy consistency, then season to taste with salt, pepper, and a generous shower of freshly-chopped parsley.
We enjoyed this as a vegan dinner and it was delicious. I added a few chunks of a melty black truffle cheese to leftovers the next day, though, and that was quite good as well.