Rigatoni with White Beans

Rigatoni with White Beans

Main Course 

This is a very adaptable home style pasta dish. The lamb sausage could be eliminated or replaced by another type of fresh sausage. The goats cheese grating sticks from Coach Farm are my favourite, but if they are unavailable, you could use Parmesano Reggiano. The white beans can be cooked and stored in their liquid up to a week ahead.

  • 4


  • Very easy



  • For the white beans:
  • 1/2 cup dry, white Cannellini beans
  • 1-inch piece of leek, white and light green part only, split, rinsed, root end still attached
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 Italian parsley sprig
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 plum tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • For the pasta:
  • Canola oil
  • 5 ounces fresh lamb sausage, removed from the casing
  • 2 cups bean liquid (from Cassoulet of White Beans recipe below)
  • Chicken or vegetable stock, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 12 ounces rigatoni
  • 16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 recipe Roasted Tomatoes (see recipe), halved lengthwise, oil reserved
  • Chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 Coach Farm aged goats cheese grating stick


For the beans:

Discard any split beans or stones. Place the beans in a strainer and rinse under cold, running water. Place the beans in a container and add cold water to cover by 3 inches. Leave at room temperature overnight.

The next day, discard any bean skins that have risen to the top of the water. Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a sauce pan. Cover the beans with cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Drain the beans in a strainer, rinse with cool, running water, then return the beans to the pan.

Add the remaining ingredients except the salt, then add enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 1/2 inches.

Place the pot over medium heat and slowly bring to just under a simmer. The beans should cook very gently- there should be movement to the water but bubbles shouldn't break the surface-so adjust the heat as needed. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are about three-quarters cooked, they will have softened but still have a bit of bite left in them.

Add the salt and cook until the beans are tender, about another 20 to 30 minutes. Pour the beans and their liquid into a container. Once they have cooled, remove and discard the herbs and vegetables. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, or for up to a week.

Drain the beans in a strainer set over a liquid measuring cup of at least 2 cups in capacity. You need about 2 cups of liquid for the recipe. If there is not enough, add water, chicken stock or vegetable stock to make up the difference. Add the vinegar and place into a Copper-Core stir fry or chef's pan. Reserve the beans. For the pasta: Place a film of canola oil in a fry pan over medium high heat. Add the lamb sausage and sauté for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Drain the sausage on paper towels and chop into small pieces. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot, preferably a Copper-Core pasta pentola, of water to a boil. Add the pasta to cook.

Place the pan with the liquid over medium high heat, bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by about one- quarter. Add the beans, 4 tablespoons of butter, and the sausage. Cook, swirling the ingredients in the pan and allowing the broth to thicken slightly.

When the pasta is almost done, drain it and add to the pan of sauce. Stir in the remaining butter, a few pieces at a time, until the sauce is glossy and thickened and the pasta has finished cooking. Stir in the tomatoes. Toss in parsley and cheese to taste. Just before serving, drizzle the oil from the tomatoes over the top of the pasta and serve with additional cheese on the side.