Pasta With Cannellini Beans, Cabbage and Bacon 4.000

Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post

Nourish Mar 19, 2014

Beans and bacon are a classic combination. Here they join with pasta and Napa cabbage to make a rustic dish that comes together in 20 minutes. This is also a great example of how a little bit of bacon goes a long way.

The bacon is a key seasoning ingredient, so choose a brand with a deep, smoky flavor.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 8 ounces dried pasta, preferably campanelle, shells or orecchiette
  • 4 ounces apple wood smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade or canned, no-salt-added cannellini beans (if using canned, drain and rinse them)
  • 6 ounces napa cabbage, cut into 2-inch-by-1/2-inch strips
  • 3/4 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish (optional)
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish (optional)


Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick braising pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, until some of the bacon's fat is rendered. Add the onion; cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion softens and the bacon starts to brown around the edges.

Add the beans, cabbage and broth. Season lightly with salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate. Cover; once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring once or twice, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta; add it to the bean and cabbage mixture, stirring to incorporate.

Serve warm, drizzled with a little oil, if desired. Pass the cheese and a black-pepper grinder at the table, if desired.

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Recipe Source

From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

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