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Easy White Bean and Tomato Sauce

October 16, 2009

White Bean Sauce

A few nights ago I found myself rooting through my pantry, trying to think of something easy to make for dinner that would not involve a trip to the grocery store. I wanted something hearty but not unhealthy, something vegetarian, and something that would make for excellent leftovers. I came up with this, and couldn’t have been more pleased. This simple white bean sauce makes an excellent topping for just about anything you can imagine. I ate it first on top of a mashed potato, with a little Parmesan and bread crumbs. I ate some of the leftovers with pasta, and some over simple grilled chicken. These would be terrific with polenta, or in an omelet or frittata, or mixed with some extra broth to make soup. Talk about versatile. This is most assuredly a new kitchen staple.

I made this with some of the last of the cherry tomatoes from my yard, but if tomato season is over, a small amount of canned tomatoes would work well, and would also make this more of a pantry-staples kind of meal. Sun-dried tomatoes might be interesting, or you could leave out the tomatoes altogether and see how this works with just tomato paste. Versatile and flexible—just how I like my dinners.

White Bean Sauce

Easy White Bean and Tomato Sauce

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, or a quarter of a small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • about 1 c. cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 can white beans, undrained (the liquid makes the sauce extra silky)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 T. tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • a few fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the shallot and saute for about 2 or 3 minutes. Once the shallot is soft and slightly translucent, add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, and cook just until they begin to soften. Then stir in the beans, tomato paste, and stock. Bring the sauce to a low boil and let it cook, stirring only occasionally, until it has thickened up a bit and the tomatoes are mostly broken down. Then stir in the basil (or any other herb of your fancy), and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Seriously, can it get any easier? I found this a perfect dinner spooned over a small baked potato, topped with breadcrumbs and some Parmesan.

Simple White Bean Sauce

You can be inventive with this: mix up the herbs, add some crushed red pepper with the garlic, or dried oregano, or add some zucchini with the tomatoes, if you’re looking for more vegetation. This is one of those great meals that allows you to experiment, and I love experimenting. And beans. If you come up with some other great add-ins or changes, let me know in the comments! I can’t wait to try this one again.

One Comment leave one →
  1. joy permalink
    October 17, 2009 6:03 pm

    I make a similar thing with white beans.
    -olive oil
    -lots of chopped garlic
    -chopped parsley
    -lemon zest
    -hot pepper flakes or crumbled dried chiles
    -tomatoes (diced fresh in the summer, sundried in the winter)
    Saute the garlic till soft, add the parsley, lemon, hot pepper, tomatoes and white beans and stir until the tomatoes have broken down slightly. Add some lemon juice if you want it to be saucier. I usually toss it with pasta, but it’s also nice on toasted bread or turned into soup by adding it to some broth.

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