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  • Brittany Aldridge

Beans, Chilli & Citrus Pasta

Updated: May 1, 2020

Beans, beans, and more beans! Can you tell I wish it was springtime? This dish is wonderfully evocative of everything spring, although you can make it all year round. It calls for ruby red grapefruit - the perfect bitter and sour accompaniment to garlicky, buttery cannellini beans. There’s also a smack of spicy chilli, and freshness from bright broccolini & green beans. Did I mention parm? Oh yeah there’s also lots of Parmesan involved! Please enjoy! (preferably with a campari soda)


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 grapefruit's juice and zest

  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1 bunch of broccolini, chopped once

  • Around 15 fresh green beans, top and tailed

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt

  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 can of cannellini beans, rinsed

  • 1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

  • 60grams or 3 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan

  • 1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes (or to taste)

  • 1/2 packet of spaghetti or fettuccini (I served mine here with fresh tagliatelle, if you would like the recipe please see the note below).


  • In a shallow dutch oven or large saucepan, add oil, chilli flakes, grapefruit zest and juice, black pepper, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring frequently (so that the garlic doesn't brown too much). After about 2 minutes add the cannellini beans, green beans, and broccolini, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, or until the cannellini bean are beginning to break down slightly.

  • In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, (the fresh pasta needs heavily salted water), cook pasta stirring occasionally, until almost al dente -fresh pasta only needs 2 minutes in boiling water, and it will finish cooking completely in the sauce.

  • After approximately 2 minutes, remove pasta from the water and using a slotted spoon add it to the large saucepan. Add 2 ladlefuls of the pasta water, and the parmesan, and stir until the parmesan is melted and sauce is creamy, glossy and emulsified.

  • Serve pasta seasoned with more pepper, parmesan and grapefruit zest, and garnished with some parsley leaves. Please enjoy!


  • If the pasta sauce looks too tight, add some more pasta water. If it is too thin you can add some more cheese or continue stirring for another minute (it will continue thickening as it cooks).

  • I served mine here with my fresh tagliatelle, the recipe can be found here:

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