Pasta and cannellini bean gratin

    1 hour 10 min

    If you first cook the pasta, and then use the same pot to cook the beans, you will only need one pot and a baking dish to make this meal. To save time, cook the pasta and the beans in different pots at the same time, and use prepared pesto instead of fresh basil and Parmesan.

    25 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 250g uncooked conchiglie pasta (shells)
    • 85g fresh basil
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 100g grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 250g ricotta cheese
    • 85g chopped onion
    • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 (400g) tins cannellini beans
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped
    • 50g breadcrumbs
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

    1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until done. Drain, and set aside. Meanwhile mince basil and garlic with Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a medium bowl, and mix with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Mix in ricotta.
    2. In a saucepan, cook onions with thyme and bay leaf in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir in beans and balsamic vinegar, and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    3. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Combine beans, tomatoes and pasta in a well oiled 2 litre baking dish. Place spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture in the pasta and beans, and press down to cover. In a small bowl, moisten breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle over pasta.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

    Parmesan cheese

    Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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    Reviews in English (20)


    My husband and I loved this! It's not too filling but very satisfying. I added some vegetables (zucchini and carrots) and cooked them with the onions and beans. I also added pieces of fresh mozzarella and it turned out great.  -  12 Apr 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This was wonderful! I cut the basil amount in half, and added a little liquid into the simmering beans. The overall mixture of flavour and texture was hearty and enjoyable!!! Thanks for a GREAT recipe!  -  22 Mar 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Hearty! I added veggie stock to the cheese mix to keep it from the dryness others had stated. Roasted some brussel sprouts since I had the oven on to go with it. Whole wheat pasta and lower fat cheese made it healthier.  -  21 Feb 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)