Butter Bean and Bacon Pasta with Rosemary

I would love to take credit for this recipe but I’m going to have to admit that this one is not mine. 4 years ago this was the first dish that my other half made me and pretty much sealed the deal for us to (very happily) share the cooking.

Although he initially made this dish because it contained his 2 favourite ingredients, it has some excellent dietetic points to recommend it not to mention it’s fabulous flavour!

As with any dish based on pulses, the butter beans provide a great source of low fat protein and are packed with healthy fibre to help you feel fuller for longer. Equally, because the bacon gives the dish a lovely meaty, smoky flavour it’s the perfect way to introduce less-than-keen children to eating pulses.


Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g of tinned butter beans in water, strained and rinsed.
  • 4 rashers of smoked bacon, sliced into 1cm strips
  • 2 tsp of dried rosemary (or fresh if you are luck enough!)
  • 175ml red wine (or 4tsp balsamic vinegar if you don’t have a bottle already open)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 500ml passata
  • 1 chilli finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach leaves or 2 blocks of frozen spinach (optional)
  • Ground pepper to season
  • Freshly cooked pasta to serve 4


  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan and sautee the bacon, chilli (optional) and onion until the onion is translucent. Drain any excess fat from the pan.
  2. Add the red wine and garlic and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the passata and butter beans and bring back to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. If you are wanting to add spinach, do so now and allow to wilt down into the sauce.
  5. Stir in the cooked pasta, season and serve topped with a dusting of parmesan.

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