Pasta with String Bean and Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Welcome to Claire's: 35 Years of Recipes and Reflections from the Landmark Vegetarian Restaurant

Welcome to Claire's

By Claire Criscuolo

Published 2014

  • About

Choose a variety of string beans—green, yellow, purple, and Italian flat beans—for this flavorful and healthful recipe. It’s loaded with fiber and vitamins C and A, and it’s a good source of protein.


  • Salt
  • 1 pound Italian organic whole wheat pasta, such as penne or fusilli
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves organic garlic, sliced
  • 1 large sweet organic onion, cut into thin ribs
  • 1 pound assorted organic string beans, stems trimmed
  • 10 organic cherry or teardrop tomatoes
  • 6 large organic heirloom tomatoes, diced, reserving juices
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup white wine (optional)
  • 10-12 large basil leaves
  • ¾ cup hand-packed ricotta cheese (optional)


  1. Bring 6 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil in a large covered pot over high heat. Cook the pasta according to package directions, then reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid before draining. (A good way to remember to reserve the cooking liquid is to put a measuring cup in a colander set in the sink.) Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over a medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, string beans, and tomatoes. Add the salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened and released some of their juices.
  2. Add the white wine (if using), the basil leaves, and the reserved cooking liquid from the pasta. Stir to combine. Cook at a low-medium boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the string beans are tender to your preference. Stir in the cooked pasta. Turn into a serving bowl. Serve in large, rimmed bowls. Top with additional black pepper and dollops of hand-packed ricotta cheese, if desired.