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Inspired by Lidia

Yesterday morning was my annual physical so I could not eat breakfast at my usual time.  By the time I returned home from being poked and prodded, I was starving. Didn’t even want to take the time to toast a piece of bread so I poured a bowl of cereal and turned on the boob tube.  I ended up on TLN and Lidia’s Family Table was on.

It was a pasta special.  Hubby was sitting with me while I was watching, turned to me and said:  “You gonna make pasta for lunch?”  I answered that it was silly.  I make pasta for supper, not lunch!  He returned with “You can’t make me watch a special on pasta and not make me some! That’s just being mean!” Please note that if it were up to him, he would have pasta every day…

Soooooo…. what the heck?  I went through my cupboards and fridge and realised that I had pasta but not the corkscrew kind; I had beans but not the cannellini kind, I had cheese but not the Grana Padano kind.  Hmmmm, what to do?  What I always do – improvise!

So I made Lidia’s “Cavatappi with Sundried Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans” but MY way!

Adding the cheese & parsley

Adding the cheese & parsley

Bow Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Red Kidney Beans

Bow Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Red Kidney Beans








It turned out quite tasty (despite my using whole wheat pasta again!!) and I will be trying the official recipe in the near future.  For now, here’s my version:

Bow Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Red Kidney Beans

1 375g box of whole wheat Bow pasta
5-6 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, sliced + some of the oil
1/4 to 1 tsp chili flakes, to taste
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
2-3 ladles of pasta water
1 cup grated parmiggiano reggiano cheese
1/2 to 1 cup chopped parsley

Add pasta to boiling salted water (must taste like the sea!) and cook until just shy of al dente (the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce)

In a large skillet (I used a chicken fryer), heat the olive oil and add garlic, cook until soft but not browned, add sun-dried tomatoes, a bit (1-2 tbsp) of the oil from the jar and the chili flakes, salt and pepper, stir to heat through. Add beans and stir until all is heated through. Add 2-3 ladles of the pasta water until desired thickness is achieved. Bring to a boil and the reduce to a simmer.

Using a spider ladle

Remove pasta directly from pasta water (shake some of the excess water off) into the sauce.

Mix well and just before serving, add cheese and parsley. Mix once more and serve.

Should serve 4, if you’re reasonable!

8 thoughts on “Inspired by Lidia

    • Absolutely! And when there seems to be nothing in the pantry (but noodles, of course) you can always make something with pasta! It takes so few ingredients to make something reallly tasty!


  1. Hi Dale! That recipe from Lidia has been one of my go-to recipes for the last couple of years. It’s perfect for casual company because you can keep some of the pasta plain for fussy kids, and the adults love the recipe. Super easy and quick! I like your twist on it.


    • Thanks Joy! I agree, it’s a total go-to type of recipe!

      Yeah, I like to do what I can with what I have! You get some nice surprises most times with only the occasional – no, never to be repeated!


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