I would describe this as a big bowl of comfort but such descriptors are not really in season anymore (no matter what the weather would have us believe) and I don’t want to turn anyone off to the wonder that is pasta tossed with a hearty white bean sauce and topped with a garlic-rosemary oil drizzle before they’ve even given it a fair and valid chance.

So let’s see.


It’s also a bowl full of persuasion for those of us who are trying to convince our boyfriend to let us get HBO now that we are going to own a tv.

Not that I even want a tv seeing as how I have lived without one for the past eight years and it has been splendid.

But if I have to have one (and yes, one is being forced on me against my better judgment)…I might as well be able to watch Girls, Game of Thrones, and the trashiest of trashy movies all on a moment’s whim.

Not to mention all the Bravo my soul can take (Real Housewives, I’m talking to you).

And when I stop being able to ever get anything done. At least we’ll know who to blame.


Of course, the powers of persuasion inherent in this dish are not merely limited to cable tv channels.

In fact, they may or may not also be fairly adept at convincing your significant other that he should go back to IKEA by himself to procure all of your apartment furnishings, thereby sparing you from any further stress and anxiety.

Yeah, it’s that good.

Conclusion – this is some powerful stuff here. Use with caution.

PicMonkey Collage

Now, before we get to the recipe, I just want to take a few minutes to fill you in on my lunch with Lidia and what it was all about. (Disclosure – I was invited to this lunch and provided with the meal for free, although my thoughts and opinions are my own and I received no monetary compensation for this post.)

Lidia has been working with Whole Foods to launch her first line of ready-made meals!  They will be sold exclusively at 25 locations in the Tri-State area with the hopes of expanding to the rest of the country in the future.  All of the meals will be locally prepared and Lidia’s family will personally manage and oversee the production of her products, as it is very important to her that the food stands by her family philosophy of producing meals that are nutritionally and environmentally conscious while still being delicious.

Lidia’s Homestyle Meals will include Lasagna with Chicken Bolognese Sauce, Breaded Chicken Breast Parmigiana, Lemon Chicken, Turkey Meatballs, Baked Penne with Ricotta, and Manicotti.  I got to taste the baked penne, manicotti, and a fish version of the lemon chicken and all of them were amazing.  Truly, you couldn’t tell that they were any kind of pre-packaged or prepared food and they tasted as if they had been made fresh that day.  These meals will be available in stores as of this past Saturday so if you happen upon them, I can personally attest that they are worth trying!

I also just have to say that Lidia was so so so sweet. I accidentally-on-purpose sat myself almost directly across from her so that we could actually interact and she was so easy to talk to. You can tell that her family is super important to her, as is maintaining the integrity of her food, so it’s no wonder that she has made so much effort into ensuring that each dish met the “Lidia standard”.

All in all, it was a GREAT experience and I am so grateful to Whole Foods for extending an invitation to me!


One year ago…White and Dark Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies
Two years ago…Halibut with Zucchini Salsa, Roasted Butternut Squash and Burnt Eggplant with Pomegranate Molasses
Three years ago…Strawberry Yogurt Bread, Coconut Rice with Swiss Chard, String Beans, and Pistachios
Four years ago…Pork Stir Fry with Ginger and Hoisin Sauce, Coq au Vin

Pasta with White Beans, Kale and Garlic-Rosemary Oil
Serves 6, adapted from Smitten Kitchen


  • 1 medium onion, cut into big chunks
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into big chunks
  • 6 garlic cloves, 4 whole and 2 finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • coarse or kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 8 oz dried beans, soaked overnight and cooked until tender
  • 14 oz whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 bunch kale, leaves torn off of stems into strips
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the onion, carrot, 4 whole garlic cloves, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until veggies are in small, pieces. Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the vegetables to the pot and season generously with salt. Cook until the vegetables start to turn brown, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomato paste and saute it with the veggies for another minute. Add a cup of water and let it simmer until it has almost all evaporated, about 5-8 minutes.
  2. Add the beans and two cups of water to the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente, adding in the kale just a few minutes before it is done cooking. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking water.
  4. Transfer 1 cup of the bean mixture to the food processor and puree until smooth. Stir it back into the sauce to thicken it. Add the pasta, kale, and 1/2 cup cooking liquid to the pot with the sauce. Cook together, adding more pasta water as needed so that the sauce coats the pasta, about 1-2 minutes more.
  5. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a small heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat. Add in the garlic and rosemary and cook until they have stopped sizzling.  Strain out the garlic and rosemary and drizzle infused oil over the dishes of pasta before serving.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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79 Responses to Pasta with White Beans, Kale and Garlic-Rosemary Oil

  1. Your boy sounds like a true sweetie. I love it when I can delegate tasks like shopping to Rob. We usually end up buying less, too, since he doesn’t get wooed by 2 lbs of arugula. 😉

  2. This is so up my alley and until the weather figures out what season it wants to stick with, I definitely game for any sort of comfort food!

  3. Debbie says:

    Pinned your recipe and making it this week. I hope the Lidia products make their way to Virginia. I am not a fan of frozen meals but I take your word that they are good…..Love Lidia also and her food!!!

  4. Comfort was the first word I thought of when I read the title of this post and saw your first photo… I think it’s always in season, and this dish sounds delicious – light yet cozy!

  5. Pam says:

    One – you must get HBO (Girls is amazing, as is Game of Thrones), two – I am so jealous over Lidia, three – garlic rosemary oil!!!

  6. london bakes says:

    I’m happy to eat a bowl of comfort food at any time of year. Love this!

  7. This sounds like a tasty vegetarian pasta! I don’t think comfort food is limited to cold weather, I like to be comforted all year round 😉

    whaaaaaat, no tv for 8 years? I think you have a LOT of catching up to do 🙂

  8. What a perfect looking pasta dish! Light yet filling at the same time….and full of awesome flavors.

  9. Audra says:

    I think it’s still comfort food season- this pasta sounds amazing!!

    And yes- HBO is the best. Showtime too 🙂

  10. SallyBR says:

    I have a recipe for pasta with white beans (but if I remember correctly in a tomato based variation), on my list to try for a long time. I think I like your version better, although I would have to offend you by omitting the garlic (digestive issues by beloved)

    Glad the lunch was great, I never buy frozen dinners, but if I ever see one of hers for sale, I will give it a try just for fun

  11. Claudia says:

    We are still in the “comfort eating zone” and will be there for all of April so yes – this comes to my table tomorrow. I will gorge on pasta letting the kale provide the health quotient. Lunch with Lidia? Dreaming.

  12. Amy says:

    You haven’t had a TV in 8 years? DUDE. I find that to be completely awesome. Having said that, I have a list of things you need to watch – Breaking Bad, Homeland, House of Cards, Sherlock…. yes, I’m an enabler. Yay for Lidia! I know that high.

  13. I’m so impressed that you’ve gone without tv for so long! My life would be much more productive if I got rid of mine, but I just can’t 🙂 Girls is awesome by the way!

    I dig comfort food year-round, so I’m all in for your pasta!

  14. Faith says:

    I think April definitely qualifies as still comfort food season, especially in the Northeast! Love this, it looks perfect.

    And yes, if you’re going to get a TV you might as well go big or go home and get the good channels! 🙂

  15. Johanna GGG says:

    I really needed to read this tonight before I made pasta with an olive oil sauce as this sort of drizzle would have been perfect – must remember next time. Love the recipe.

    Good luck with having a tv – I had a few years without one and now it is something I enjoy in the evenings but I still find it odd when E wants to watch it during the day.

  16. Big Dude says:

    This looks really good Joanne I like pureeing the beans for thickener. I can’t imagine how much I’d get accomplished if I had no TV.

  17. Unknown says:

    You are such a rockstar to have been INVITED to lunch with Lidia. 🙂 Although, maybe it was she who was the lucky one. I would love to have lunch with you too. Great looking dish! HBO? Yeah I guess. Streamed Netflix (magically installed by hubby) awesome ($10 month!)!

  18. Foodycat says:

    That pasta looks absolutely delicious!

  19. Jessie says:

    I’m so glad you had a fun time at lunch! It’s fun to get the “Joanne perspective”, both literally and literarially! Your lunch looked delectable, too 🙂

    One thing I love (among many things!) about your meals is that they are both comfort food and packed with nutrition. I don’t even know how many of your recipes I’ve made, but it’s a lot!

  20. This looks like the perfect simple vegetarian dish – always on the lookout for great spagetti & kale recipes. As far as bean ideas go, I like mashing white beans with garlic, olive oil, lemon, and kosher salt a’la Nigella.

  21. i eat comfort food year round! delish!

  22. Danielle says:

    What an amazing experience!!

  23. What a great opportunity! I bet Lidia would love this simple, flavorful Italian dish… It looks so delicious, Joanne!

  24. Mary Younkin says:

    This looks wonderful, Joanne! I would happily sit down to this meal in warm or cold weather.

  25. Natalie G says:

    Great vegetarian meal! The garlic-rosemary oil must give this dish amazing flavor, and I love that there is beans in it, added fiber and protein!

  26. Aww man! If you’re getting a tv you NEED HBO. I don’t even see a point in having tv unless you get that channel. Perhaps tell the boy that if you can’t have HBO, he can’t watch sports? Or any political debates? lol Or just bake him a cake…an HBO cake of persuasion. xo

  27. I think Aria would LOVE this dish. Let’s get her some. 🙂

  28. I love the simple flavors here Joanne – sounds great! That lunch was so fantastic. I really hope her meals make it out west – they sound like something I would keep in my freezer. I have long been a fan of hers and have at least a couple of her cookbooks! Love that they are being sold at Whole Foods 🙂

  29. Karis says:

    TVs are a slippery slope that I’m happily sliding down right now. We went from no TV, to one with an antennae, then basic cable, now basic & a DVR. I LOVE having a DVR and don’t think I can go back now.

  30. marie says:

    You are so lucky, a T.V. AND all that yummy food at WF (saw it on instagram) and meeting and eating and talking with Lidia, awesome.

  31. We used to watch Lidia’s television show when it was on here in Tassie. Good wholesome Italian food… love the stuff! Great to see that she is evolving and has some new stuff happening in her life 🙂 Cheers for sharing 🙂

  32. Guru Uru says:

    Your experience with lidia sounds awesome my friend, just as awesome as this delish dish 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  33. Another channel you must have is Food Network, I think you’d love it, I know I do. I like Lidia’s standards about her food products. So nice that you got to try to products and have a lunch with her to boot! This recipe looks very good. I like the addition of the beans 🙂

  34. What a fun opportunity! This pasta is right up my alley!

  35. Hotly Spiced says:

    I would have accidentally on-purpose elbowed my way in front of her face too. Great that you had the opportunity to talk directly to one of your heroes. And I love pasta with white bean sauce xx

  36. Oh, tv – watch out…I didn’t have cable for many, MANY years and always said I didn’t care or didn’t need it (okay, not the same as not having a tv at all, but…). Now, the thought of not having cable makes me a little queasy ;P. Pass me a plate, this looks delicious!

  37. Lisa Eirene says:

    Oh yum! Looks delicious! I made something similar: It was a white bean, chard and gnocchi dinner. So good!

  38. Monet says:

    Whatever this is…it looks delicious. And I’m all about comfort right now. Thank you for sharing. That garlic-rosemary oil sounds heavenly.

  39. Joyti says:

    What an exciting opportunity for you!
    And the dish looks delicious. Kale and white beans – yes, please!

  40. This pasta dish looked so good I had to keep reading…then I saw Lidia! What an opportunity – she’s amazing.

    Glad to have found your blog and thanks for the recipe inspiration!

  41. Ah, the life of Joanne. It’s like unfolding a novel, following your new domestic bliss. A TV! Ha! I wondered when you’d come to the dark side. Game of Thrones, yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about! How lucky for you to me Lidia. Love her recipes. I learned to make pasta by watching her show. I’m so tired tonight, that I always turn to pasta as my comfort food. I’d love this. Pretty guilt-free and colorful, too.

  42. I’m always game for comfort food! And this looks like it’s just that. Beautiful job!

  43. Velva says:

    The pasta dish rocks. I have had a hunkering to make this dish.

    What a very cool experience to meet Lidia in person. Can I guess that you will in the future enjoy her meals from Whole Foods? Awesome.


  44. Blond Duck says:

    This is so crazy– I ate something almost identical tonight!

  45. Hannah says:

    Those are some crazy delicious noodles you’ve got there, my dear.

    Pretty awesome that you got to not only meet Lydia, but share a meal with her! Soak in that experience- I can’t wait to see what else you do with that inspiration. 🙂

  46. That Girl says:

    This sounds like comfort food to me!

  47. I could never live without a TV. I too love all things HBO and Bravo (and everything basically). This pasta looks amazing- a perfect light meal to eat while catching up on a Bravo marathon 🙂

  48. Kari says:

    I could live without a TV, easily. When I moved out on my own, it was about 4 months until I got one, and then it was barely used, until I started dating Mr Bite and we watched movies and things. And then he moved in and now we use it daily. And now I have much less time! Still, as you say – if you’re going to get one, get the good stuff.

    Gorgeous dish, too 🙂

  49. I always thought Lidia was a real family person when watching her show on TV here. We have a TV but we don’t watch it very much. I could live without it but the mister would miss the nightly news.

    Good luck to Lidia on her new venture and that pasta with kale and beans looks “comforting.”

  50. Kevin says:

    That pasta looks good! I use a similar flavour combo in a soup quite often!

  51. oooooh this pasta. Love it!! Also my herb garden is in full swing and I like having excuses to snip the little twigs of rosemary. How about that lunch!! I’m kinda bumming though because I am neither in the Tri-state area NOR do I have a Whole Foods out here in the nowhere that is my home. Maybe next time you talk to Lydia you could ask her about a mail order option.

  52. this looks wonderful 🙂 and I bet you won and got the channel

  53. Dixya says:

    whatever the weather or situation I will take this bowl of pasta. Makes great dinner. Joanne, i love your recipes like this quick one for weeknights. Thanks a lot for sharing

  54. Monica says:

    I have to admit I take a shortcut by buying canned white beans. I can’t seem to stop myself from stocking up on a can or two every time I go. I love this pasta and everything in it! Your meeting with Lidia sounds amazing. I have watched her on PBS for years and still do. : )

  55. Revathi says:

    Pasta looks delicious….awesome clear pics

  56. teresa says:

    it looks like such an enjoyable time! great pics!

    i LOVE this pasta, beans and pasta really go well together, and this looks fabulous!

  57. cindspectus says:

    Pasta + insertanyveggiehere is good any time of year. Comfort food, scmumfort food!

    Also, glad you had a great time with Lidia, my younger sister would be so jealous! She met her once and had her sign her cookbook, but sharing a meal with her? That’s awesome.

  58. sandra says:

    we stream everything on netflix – that way you don’t have to deal with those pesky ads. So cool that you were able to meet Lidia. And were asked to promote her new line of packaged meals. You’re awesome!

  59. Annie Patz says:

    Wow! I can’t imagine being without a t.v. for 8 years! Then again, I probably watch too much television (by the way I LOVE that show Girls). I am so glad your lunch went well, you have me craving some pasta!

  60. Juliana says:

    Delicious pasta dish Joanne, I can almost smell the garlic-rosemary oil in this dish…yum!
    Enjoy your week 🙂

  61. Soulfood! I love kale (or silverbeet) stir-fried with whitebeans and garlic for a weekend breakfast. Can’t wait to try…hope there is some gluten-free pasta at the market this weekend.
    We’ve lived without TV for 5 years and are loathe to go back…I don’t know how people have time to watch the same crap night after night!!

  62. Eileen says:

    Simple pasta with beans and greens is just about exactly my speed right now. And what an amazing lunch! Lucky you!

  63. Oh my gosh, you haven’t had a tv for 8 years?? I can totally live without DVR, but I love me some HGTV on a Saturday morning 🙂 And I wish HBO was free because I’ve been dying to see Girls but I’m too cheap to chalk up the cash.

    This pasta sounds awesome and I know it’s a meal Nate would love!!! I’m marking this one down 🙂

  64. You had me at Garlic-Rosemary Oil!!

  65. Love, love, LOVE (did I say “love”) the garlic-rosemary oil Joanne! Fabulous salad! Watch out for that TV now, the foodie shows can get addicting . . . thank goodness I work so I don’t sit around in front of the tube! Wow, I am so super impressed with your visit with Lidia! What an honor for you (as well as for her to meet you I might add!). If her products ever get to the South (in 10 years most likely), I’ll be first in line to try them!


  66. Amy says:

    This is such a refreshing dish, yet satisfying and comforting. I love the flavor and texture combination here.

  67. Glad to hear your lunch went well and good for you for sitting right across from her – I probably would have been too nervous! Love this pasta, so healthy and simple!

  68. This is a pure deliciousness in a bowl..
    I am madly in love with greens, where every I see I can see Kale n Chard lately…LOL
    Totally right up in my alley!

  69. Glad to know that you have enjoyed your lunch. The pasta looks wholesome!

  70. Katerina says:

    Such an interesting combination of flavors in this pasta dish! If you want HBO you must try and convince your boyfriend to do so! I am sure you can find a way to do it my friend!

  71. Lynn says:

    This looks wonderful. I think you’ll enjoy limited TV. 🙂

  72. Barbara says:

    Good heavens! You haven’t had a TV for all those years? I am so impressed. I’m also addicted to the food shows, so can’t say the same. And my son gave me Apple TV for Christmas, so am loving that.
    Great dish…interesting lunch report too.

  73. I’m so sorry about the attacks, it’s so terribly sad and especially when the very innocent are targeted like this. I’m so impressed you run like this! the salad looks delicious and I do LOVE his book Jerusalem.
    Mary x

  74. Reeni Pisano says:

    I love everything about this pasta! It’s something I would definitely eat all year long. SOOOO COOL that you met Lydia! I watch her every night at 11:30 as I am drifting off to sleep – then I dream of her delicious food all night long.

  75. Dining Alone says:

    Comfort food is definitely on the menu this week. I am jealous you got to meet Lidia but happy for your great experience!

  76. Ashley says:

    This is all sorts of awesome!

  77. Laura says:

    TV drama: hysterical (and if you are going trashy, don’t forget True Blood!). Lydia lunch: AWESOME. Recipe: Yum.

  78. What a great opportunity! I love Lidia. We sat next to her at her restaurant Del Posto once, but no conversation!
    Great pasta dish, I make it sometimes with escarole in the winter. Love it!

  79. Comfort in a bowl is my favorite kind of dinner! You always come up with most delicious recipes.

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