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Pasta with White Beans, Italian Sausage and Tomatoes

Serves 4 to 6

This pasta recipe is quick, easy and very tasty. Make it on a busy weeknight for a quick and satisfying main dish that requires nothing more than a tossed green salad for a complete meal. The recipe can easily be halved, reserving half of the canned beans for the salad or for another meal.

Ingredients

Brown sausage in large sauté pan coated with a little of the olive oil over medium-high heat until browned. Add the remaining olive oil and garlic. Sauté about 1 more minute. Add tomatoes, oregano, parsley basil, salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered until tomatoes have reduced, about 10 minutes. Add the beans and cook until well-heated, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Add drained pasta and about 1/4-cup of the cooking liquid to the sauce. Stir well to combine. Let set about 2 minutes, then serve, passing the cheese separately.

Notes: Although I always use dried herbs to cook a tomato sauce, I like to finish it with fresh parsley and basil when I have them on hand. Cannellini beans are the obvious choice for an Italian dish. However, I find them a bit too soft and creamy for this sauce, so I prefer great northern. No matter which beans I use, I purchase low-sodium or no-salt-added. This pasta is best served immediately because the beans tend to soak up the liquid as it sets. To reheat any leftovers, add a few cooked tomatoes with seasonings if necessary. Try this with whole wheat or multigrain pasta for a nutritional boost.