Skip to content
Creamy hidden-bean pasta sauce recipe

Creamy hidden-bean pasta sauce recipe

104 ratings

Just a handful of ingredients create chef Derek Sarno’s super-creamy tomato pasta sauce, spiked with fresh basil and chilli. This vegan dish is made extra-creamy with blended cannellini beans. See method

  • Serves 6
  • 5 mins to prepare and 35 mins to cook
  • 388 calories / serving
  • Healthy
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Dairy-free


  • 2 tbsp olive oil​
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped or plum tomatoes
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200ml soya milk alternative
  • 450g penne
  • 1 tsp crushed chillies (optional)
  • 30g pack fresh basil, leaves picked and most finely chopped
If you don't have these beans, you can use any tinned bean in water

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    7g 10%
  • Saturates

    1g 6%
  • Sugars

    7g 8%
  • Salt

    0.2g 3%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 62.6g Protein 15.1g Fibre 5.9g


Derek Sarno

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a low heat and fry the garlic for 5 mins until softened; be careful not to let it burn. Stir through the tomatoes, increase the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 mins, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by about half. Meanwhile, blitz the cannellini beans and soya milk-alternative with a handheld blender (or in a blender) on the highest speed until smooth.
  2. Cook the pasta to pack instructions. Drain, reserving a mug of pasta water.
  3. Stir the smooth bean mixture through the tomato sauce and reduce the heat to low. Warm through for 5 mins, stirring frequently – don’t let it boil or the sauce may split. Stir through the crushed chillies, if using, and the chopped basil; season to taste. For a completely smooth sauce, use a handheld blender to blitz the sauce inside the pan (off the heat).
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir well to coat. Add 1-2 tbsp pasta water if needed to loosen, then top with the remaining basil leaves to serve.

Make ahead: The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead; store in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat on the hob or in the microwave, without boiling, until piping hot.

See more Derek Sarno recipes

You may also like

Be the first to comment

Before you comment please read our community guidelines.