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Photo: Jan Smith Photo by: Photo: Jan Smith

Pasta with Beans and Greens

This recipe comes together quickly; prepare the cheese sauce while the pasta and green beans are cooking. Combine both mixtures right before serving to retain the dish's creamy consistency.

Cooking Light MAY 2006

  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 8 ounces uncooked cavatappi
  • 2 cups (1-inch) cut green beans (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped spinach (about 3 ounces)
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped kale (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add beans to pan halfway through cooking time. Drain well.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add milk; cook until slightly thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes), stirring constantly with a whisk. Add 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, red pepper, and garlic, stirring until the cheese melts. Keep warm.

Combine pasta mixture, spinach, kale, and mint in a large bowl. Stir in milk mixture, tossing gently to coat. Spoon 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture onto each of 6 plates; top each serving with 2 teaspoons shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 328
  • Calories from fat: 25%
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated fat: 5.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.4g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g
  • Protein: 18.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 44.4g
  • Fiber: 3.9g
  • Cholesterol: 23mg
  • Iron: 3.4mg
  • Sodium: 607mg
  • Calcium: 462mg

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Pasta with Beans and Greens recipe