Dad’s Pasta (White Bean and Spinach Spaghetti)

This pasta dish uses simple but flavourful ingredients to create a rustic Italian meal packed with protein and iron. The sweetness of the shallots mellows out the earthiness of the beans and spinach, turning these ordinary ingredients into a flavourful and filling treat. Yum!

I came up with this recipe based on things that were leftover in the fridge. Some white kidney beans leftover from veggie burgers, spinach from a salad, you get the picture. So I really wasn’t expecting it to be anything special (honestly, I was hoping for “not that bad”).

But I made enough for two servings and shared it with my dad, who is in town this week, and he declared (through a mouthful of food) that I needed to name this recipe “Dad’s Pasta”! So, here we are.

I’ve actually made it a few times now and it’s always quite good. I have attempted to switch out the white beans for chickpeas, but honestly, it’s just not the same. White kidney beans, also known as cannellini beans, are creamy and delightful. The humble chickpea will just have to wait for another pasta recipe.

If you’re not vegan, this recipe works well topped with parmesan cheese. But for a vegan finish, just add some extra torn up basil and have at it!

Dad's Pasta (White Bean and Spinach Spaghetti)

Course Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings


  • 200 oz spaghetti (enough for 2 people)
  • 3/4 cup white kidney beans (canned)
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1.5 cup fresh spinach
  • 2-3 large fresh basil leaves (can sub 1 tbsp dried)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • olive oil


  1. Boil a large pot of water and put in the pasta. Follow the instructions to cook to al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.

  2. Slice the shallot and saut? in about a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat in a pan (with a lid). 

  3. Finely chop the garlic and add to the pan. 

  4. Add the white kidney beans to the pan. 

  5. Add the salt and pepper to the pan. Allow the beans to cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the fresh spinach and cover with the lid. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. 

  6. Once the spinach is wilted, add the fresh basil. Add the reserved pasta water and another 2 tbsp of olive oil (or more if needed). Allow to simmer for a minute. 

  7. Add the pasta to the pan and mix, allowing the pasta to absorb the sauce. 

  8. Serve, topping with additional basil if desired. If you're not vegan, consider adding fresh parmesan cheese as a topping. 


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I'm Rebecca, a Nova Scotian writer, designer, and entrepreneur. This website is my personal blog and creative hub. I hope you find something cool and inspiring here!

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