Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Faux" Pasta Cream Sauce

Things have been a little crazy around Lisa’s Cocina lately. Getting laid off from your job can have that effect, I suppose. That said, you’d probably think that I would be posting about some amazingly sinful chocolate whatever that I’ve been eating non-stop by myself on the couch in my sweatpants, right? Well, that recipe is coming, but first I actually have something healthy to tell you about.

Healthy and tasty, I might add. Oh, and you also probably want to know what the “faux” is all about, don’t you? Beans, people, wonderful cannellini beans, known also as white kidney beans.

I love cream sauces on pasta, yet I rarely eat them because my arteries sat me down once and gave me a stern talking to. So when I stumbled upon this recipe I was intrigued.

In this sauce, the cannellini beans are puréed with milk and then cooked with cheese, bell peppers and herbs to create a sauce that makes my heart and palate very happy.

I do want to mention that this sauce is best paired with a ravioli or tortellini type pasta stuffed with cheese or vegetables or meat (I used a pre-packaged Portobello mushroom ravioli). In my opinion, the sauce was a little bland over simple spaghetti.

“Faux” Pasta Cream Sauce
adapted from the Canton Repository

15-oz can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup lowfat milk
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup bell pepper (red, green, yellow, or mixed), slivered
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Meanwhile, place the beans and milk in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Transfer to a large skillet. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese, bell peppers, oregano, salt, nutmeg and ground black pepper. Cook and stir until heated through.

Serve sauce over pasta. If desired, sprinkle with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh oregano.


  1. I want it and shall soon try making it! I am loving this "faux" stuff, so your arteries and my thighs can relax.

  2. I just read this comment, I meant MY arteries and thighs, not yours :)