A few years ago, Ethan and I were not going to be able to see my mother for Mother’s Day because of a wedding we had to attend on Mother’s Day.  So, rather than miss seeing her at all, we had dinner with my parents the night before.  We went to an Italian restaurant they like, that is very happy to work with people with differing dietary requirements, be it vegan, low salt, whatever. I called an spoke with them ahead of time and the only thing they asked was for us to bring our own dried pasta.  They made their pasta fresh and it contains eggs, and they knew we couldn’t have it.  When we arrived at the restaurant and were seated, the server came over and asked us how we would like the pasta prepared. We told him a red sauce would be fine. He then asked if we wanted any beans or anything with it. We told him to just let the chef do what he wanted as long as it was vegan.  He said, that would not be a problem.  When our meal came out, we were shocked. A huge place of pasta with a white bean red sauce.  It was so simple and so delicious.  We didn’t understand how we could not have ever thought of making this ourselves.  A few days later we recreated it at home and named it “Mother’s Day Pasta.”

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 mintues
Servings: 4 main dish or 8 appetizers


½ pound whole wheat pasta – we like spaghetti for this, but use any kind you like
2 TBL olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15oz can of cannellini beans (or navy beans) drained and rinsed. Or 1 ½ cups if using fresh cooked beans.
½ cup red wine (optional)
2 cups of marinara sauce
Salt and pepper to taste




1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and just starting to turn golden, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with a little salt to help them sweat.

3. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds, then add the beans.  Mix them together being careful not to smash the beans.  Cook a few minutes to heat the beans through.   If using, add the wine and stir to coat everything. Let it simmer for a minute.

4.  Add the sauce and stir to thoroughly combine. Bring to a simmer.  Add salt and pepper as needed.

5. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.  Pour the sauce and bean mixture over it. Toss it all together to coat the pasta.

6. Serve.