Drink.  Learn.  Laugh.  Repeat.

Welcome Back!Sign in here:

Not Registered?Become one of our thirsty clan 318,807 strong:

Register Today!

Pasta Toscana

Pasta Toscana

Pastas are great for the beginning cook to start building a culinary repertoire with as they are nutritious, can be wholly vegetarian, and easily incorporate seasonal vegetables, herbs, and legumes. Pasta dishes are also economical, and often require only two pots with which to make the entire meal. So, for all these reasons I offer you the simple, delicious dish, Pasta Toscana. I hope you try it and keep it in your culinary repertoire just because it tastes so good. Buon Appetito!

Pasta Toscana

Serves 4-6

Level of difficulty: easy


450g. imported linguine or spaghetti
10 ozs. of canned white kidney beans, rinsed well and drained
1 medium bunch of kale; a lutein- rich leafy green, tasting somewhat like Swiss chard
3 sprigs each fresh rosemary and sage leaves finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
3 shallots finely diced
1 tsp. crushed chilies
4 strips smoked bacon, or 6 ozs. pancetta, excess fat trimmed
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. each: salt and pepper
Grated pecorino Romano to taste


Separate stems from kale leaves; chop stems finely and leaves coarsely.
In a large deep skillet sauté stems in a little water until tender, add kale leaves and cook until soft, remove from pan and reserve with cooking water in a bowl.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add pasta and cook until al dente (7 mins.). While past cooks, coarsely chop the bacon, heat 1 tbsp. oil in the skillet over med-high heat, add herbs, garlic, shallots chilies, bacon, sauté until bacon is brown and vegetables soft. Add beans and sautéed kale, reduce heat to low, add 1 tbsp. pasta water, season with salt and pepper, stir and cover loosely. Drain pasta, add to skillet off heat, toss to coat in sauce, adjust seasonings, drizzle with 1 tbsp. oil before serving and top with cheese.

Recipe and photograph contributed by Loretta White, a food columnist based-in Chester, Nova Scotia. To get more of Loretta's recipes visit Food for Thought at www.southshoreclipper.com

Complementary Wines: Bardolino, Montepulciano D'Abruzzo

If you'd like more delicious recipes and wine pairings, join my website.

Visit 's wine and food blog Food for Thought.

Return to Recipes



Join me in a free online video class to learn the secrets to perfect pairings.

Wine of the Week

As featured on  

CTV Wine of the Week!

Jean-Pierre Moueix Red Wine
Bordeaux A.C. ...

Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean offers North America's most popular online wine and food pairing classes. She was named the World's Best Drinks Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia.

Natalie has published two books with Random House, both selected as one of Amazon's Best Books of the Year.

Join 318,807 thirsty wine lovers who get access to all of her wine reviews by becoming a member of her site. Take a free online pairing class with her here.



Know the wines you want before you even get to the store with my wine reviews. Join now. It's free.

Red, White & Drunk All Over

  Best Books of the Year

Red, White & Drunk all over by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean writes about wine with a sensuous obsession... and often laugh-out-loud funny... Terrific.

Rex Pickett, Sideways

Ms. MacLean is the disarming Everywoman. She loves wine, loves drinking ... ultimately, it's a winning formula.

Eric Asimov, The New York Times


Access my reviews on mobile with the bar code scanner.


Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search

  Best Books of the Year

Unquenchable by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean is a new force in the wine writing world ‐ a feisty North American answer to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. She can write beautifully about wine.

The Financial Times of London

There are very few people in the wine world who "get it" and Natalie is one of those who brings more fun to a buttoned-up and stodgy game.

Gary Vaynerchuck, Wine Library TV

Starting a Wine Cellar?

Expert advice for all budgets

Insider tips on starting a wine cellar
From wine racks to underground caves, insider tips on size and space, number of bottles, ideal conditions and reputable resources.   learn more  




Winner World's Best Drink Writer
WFour-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award