Hi there! Today, I’m going to share a recipe that’s flavorful, healthy, and super simple to make: My Vegetarian Cannellini Bean Pasta Salad with arugula and sun dried tomatoes.
The scoop on this recipe…
This vegetarian pasta salad derives its inspiration from one of my favorite Brazilian pizzas! On our first family vacation, my husband and I shared a pizza with whole wheat crust, parmesan cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and arugula. It was SO GOOD we actually ordered it two nights in a row. Back in January this year, (2019), we embarked on our first pilgrimage to Brasília, the capital of Brazil.
Main objective: to apply for Menasheh’s American passport and file the claim to his American Citizenship. Without these papers in hand, our dreams of celebrating his first birthday in the United States would be… kaput.
We thoughtfully scheduled our stay, allowing time to return to the embassy, should anything go wrong. Luckily, we finished our business in one day, albeit an extremely stressful day. Between my son and I, there were a few episodes of exasperated crying. But on the bright side, we spent the rest of our time in Brasília enjoying our first family vacation.
Because Menasheh was so young, it wasn’t practical to go out on the town for too long, so we spent quite a lot of time chilling out in our hotel room together.Maybe you’re thinking, “How disappointing, they didn’t see much of the city.” But actually, a “staycation” was exactly what we needed after our first six months of parenthood! I have so many good memories of hanging out on our big hotel bed just sleeping, talking, watching movies, and eating. So it was the most relaxing and restful thing ever!
Since we stayed in a hotel, we didn’t have to worry about cooking and cleaning. The hotel had an amazing breakfast buffet but not much that was appealing for lunch or dinner. So we ordered a lot of delivery food, a rare treat, especially for me! Which brings me back to the pizza behind this pasta salad recipe. After returning home from Brasília , I craved that pizza again. So I took the basic idea and created my vegetarian cannellini bean pasta salad, adding arugula and sun dried tomatoes.
Before we start cooking, here are just a few quick notes…
For this recipe, you can use canned Cannellini beans or pre-cook them yourself. Since canned beans are rare and expensive in Brazil, I pre-cooked mine in a crockpot with water and salt. It took a few hours, but they turned out beautiful – soft yet entact.
This salad is delicious hot or cold – you can enjoy it either way. So it’s a great dish if you like to prepare food ahead of time for the rest of the week. If you are preparing in a larger batch ahead of time, I might suggest leaving the arugula unblanched and using it as a bed for the pasta salad. However if you plan to make this salad for just one meal, then give the sauteed arugula a try! I love how the flavor intensifies when it’s heated.
I’ve saved the best feature of this recipe for the last: It’s a one-pot wonder. Yay! No mountain of dishes for you today, my friend. You’ll want to keep a colander handy for straining your pasta, but other than that, you’re good to go!
Vegetarian Cannellini Bean Pasta Salad
A filling, flavor-pack vegetarian & even vegan pasta salad with cannellini beans, arugula and sun dried tomatoes!
- 2 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Pasta of your choice
- 1 Cup Cannellini Beans
- 1 Large Bunch of Arugula
- 1/2 Cup chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Olive Oil to drizzle
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Optional: Parmesan (or vegan substitute) to garnish
- Step 1 Fill your large pot half full with water, add salt to taste, and bring to a boil.
- Step 2 Once the water reaches a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook until almost completely tender. Keep in mind that pasta continues to soften even after it’s removing the water. The cooking time for this step will depend on your variety of pasta, so consult the package.
- Step 3 While the pasta boils, rinse your arugula, chop the sun dried tomatoes, and strain the cannellini beans.
- Step 4 As soon as the pasta is cooked, strain out the water.
- Step 5 Place the pot back on the burner and add a drizzle of olive oil. Then toss in your cannellini beans, sun dried tomatoes, and arugula. Saute these until the arugula begins to wilt.
- Step 6 Toss your pasta back in the pot, give everything a mix with salt, pepper, and a little more olive oil if desired.
- Step 7 Serve plain or with your preference of parmesan/ vegan substitute, and most importantly, ENJOY!