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Pasta Shells with Spinach and Cannellini Beans

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

Sometimes, all you want for dinner is a soothing dish. This pasta, comfort food at its best, fills the bill.


  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for serving
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 9 oz. baby spinach (9 packed cups)
  • 1 19-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. large (not jumbo) pasta shells
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • Coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 460
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 100
  • Fat (g): 11
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 560
  • Carbohydrates (g): 71
  • Fiber (g): 8
  • Protein (g): 16


  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach, increase the heat to medium high, and cook, stirring, until the spinach begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the beans and 1/4 cup of the chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup broth, the pepper flakes, and 1 tsp. salt; bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and keep warm.
  • Boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the spinach-bean mixture, the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and the lemon juice. Add a little of the pasta water to moisten, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice. Serve drizzled with more oil and topped with grated cheese.

The spinach, beans, and cheese also make a great topping for bruschetta.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • JoAnn_234 | 07/11/2016

    This recipe is delish! I added a little oregano and basil, other than that I stuck to the recipe. Topped with parmesan reggiano and garlic bread on the side. Very, very good.

  • jillandjohn | 02/08/2016

    I just made this and it was really great to have on a snowy day. Delicious, simple, and comforting.

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