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Pasta Shells and Beans Recipe and Bush’s Beans Winter Comfort Food Recipe Exchange and Giveaway

by Aggies Kitchen on February 4, 2013


Today’s post is full of all kinds of good stuff. As you may know, I’ve been working with Bush’s Beans for a few years now. Beans are a big part of my diet and I like to include them in many of the recipes that I make, especially warm and comforting soups like this Pasta Shells and Beans soup I made recently. I mentioned I’ve been on a soup kick lately, cooking up a big pot on the weekend and enjoying it for lunch and quick dinners throughout the week. This soup is so simple – and so so good – full of veggies, beans and whole grain pasta – it truly hits the spot, especially on cold winter day.


The beans add a slight natural creaminess to the soup, that makes it a little extra special – and it just gets better and better as it sits in the fridge for a couple of days. I was inspired to make this soup after remembering one of my favorite soups my mom made for us at home when I was younger, a soup many of you are probably familiar with as Pasta e Fagioli (aka Pasta Fazul). I’ve seen this soup made in so many different ways, but my family’s version was just like this one, though with ditalini pasta instead of whole wheat shell pasta. I loved the added nutrition from the whole grain pasta and can’t wait to make another pot.

I’m sharing with you this wholesome and delicious soup recipe to kick off a Winter Comfort Food Recipe Exchange hosted by Bush’s Beans, Real Mom Kitchen and myself. Our goal is to grow and share a collection of your favorite recipes that you find comforting in the winter using beans. By sharing your favorite winter comfort food bean recipes here in the link up, you’ll also have a chance to win a gorgeous Le Creuset Cast Iron French Oven along with coupons for Bush’s Beans and a $100 Visa gift card! See below recipe for all the details.


Whole Grain Pasta Shells and Beans Soup

I grew up eating Pasta e Fagioli in my family's home. It was a simple soup and came together quickly and with few ingredients as this one does. I chose to add additional nutrition to an already wholesome soup by using whole wheat pasta. The natural creaminess from the beans and pasta makes this soup absolutely delicious.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cans Bush's Great Northern Beans (or Cannellini Beans), slightly drained but not rinsed
  • 8 cups of water (or chicken broth)
  • 1 tablespoon chicken base (omit if using chicken broth instead of water)
  • 1/2 13 oz box whole wheat shell pasta
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • big pinch salt and fresh ground pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add garlic, onion, celery and carrots to pot and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  2. Add beans to vegetable mixture. Add water (or broth) and chicken base to pot. Bring to a slow boil.
  3. Once soup has come to a boil, add pasta. Let cook for an additional 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked through. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as necessary.


Since whole wheat pasta typically needs longer to cook through, you may have to adjust cooking time if using regular pasta.

How to Link Up and Join the Recipe Exchange:

1.  Post a quick and easy comfort food recipe using Bush’s Beans that is perfect for a weeknight and everyday gatherings on your blog. There are no restrictions on how many recipes you want to submit. It is fine to use recipes that are previously posted on your blog, as long as you add the info in step three.

**If you don’t have a blog, that’s okay. Just leave your recipe in the comments section of this post.

2.  During the link-up week (February 4 – February 11, 2013), copy and paste the link to your Bush’s Beans Winter Comfort Foods recipe post into the widget on either Real Mom Kitchen or on Aggie’s Kitchen (Link Up tool will be found at the end of this post). You only need to add it on one site, but it will show up on both

**Please leave a comment on this post to let me know you linked up so you can be entered into the giveaway. Your comment will be considered your “entry” and will be used when the winner is chosen.

3.  Somewhere in your post, please include the following phrase:  “Join Aggie’s Kitchen and Real Mom Kitchen and share a family favorite Winter Comfort Food recipe for the Bush’s Beans Recipe Exchange!”

**In your recipe ingredients list, you must include one of the following Bush’s Beans in your ingredient list:

·         Kidney Beans, Black Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Pinto Beans, Great Northern Beans, Cannellini Beans (all recipes with Cannellini Beans should include “or Great Northern Beans”) and Chili Beans

·         You may include reduced-sodium beans, but please note the recipe works well with regular beans, as well

**Both of these must be included in your recipe post for a chance to win the giveaway, and it must link to Aggie’s Kitchen, Real Mom Kitchen and Bush’s Beans

Le Creuset Flame 5.5 French Oven

Giveaway Details:

Our friends at Bush’s Beans are giving one lucky Aggie’s Kitchen reader the chance to win:

·         10 free coupons for Bush’s Beans

·         $100 Visa Gift Card

·         And the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron French Oven, 5.5 Qt. Round in flame color

To enter: Link up to Winter Comfort Food recipe exchange (see above for details) and leave a comment letting me know you linked up in this post. Winner will be chosen from comments.

Additional entries can be earned through any of the following (please leave a separate comment to let me know, each comment will count as an entry):

·         Tweet ” I want to win a Le Creuset French Oven & $100 Visa Card from @BushsBeans @aggieskitchen & @realmomkitchen  #BushsBeans ”

·         Follow Bush’s Beans Facebook page

Sorry, the giveaway is open only to U.S. residents but, if you live elsewhere, please still feel free to share your Bush’s Beans recipes. Giveaway ends February 11 at 12 a.m. PST.


(Disclosure: I am in a paid partnership with Bush’s Beans. All opinions are my own)

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar February 4, 2013 at 6:25 am

This sounds so lovely! What a nutritious soup!


Erica February 4, 2013 at 7:18 am

What a giveaway! I use Bush’s beans in everything, but one of my favorites is a black bean dip. I eat this with vegetables or pretzels chips. Amazing:
(this post is from SO long ago!!!)


Liz @ The Lemon Bowl February 4, 2013 at 7:32 am

I love Pasta Fagioli and I never make it – great reminder!!


Amy February 4, 2013 at 7:49 am

I can’t wait to see what everyone links up! Our comfort food recipe list needs some new stuff.


Marnely Rodriguez-Murray February 4, 2013 at 8:36 am

I don’t think I’ve ever had beans and pasta- just entered with my Dominican Kidney beans! Super simple but such a taste of home!


Marnely Rodriguez-Murray February 4, 2013 at 8:39 am

I tweeted!


Marnely Rodriguez-Murray February 4, 2013 at 8:41 am

I like Bush’s Beans on FB


Christopher Sorel February 4, 2013 at 9:00 am

No blog but simple bacon bean soup is chop up some bacon and while cooking chop up whole onion. Cook on med-low till all is done. Drain grease and add to 4 cups pork stock (4 cups water and 4 pork cubes). Put in a can of Busch Navy beans and heat for 10 minutes. Kids enjoy this and simple to make creamy add a spoon of sour cream to your bowl.


Christopher Sorel February 4, 2013 at 9:06 am
TidyMom February 4, 2013 at 9:08 am

Can’t wait to get some new recipe ideas for my family! Thanks for hosting!


Christopher Sorel February 4, 2013 at 9:08 am

Follow Bush’s Beans Facebook page


Cassie | Bake Your Day February 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

This is such a great idea, Aggie! I love simple pasta dishes.


Kristen February 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

What a delicious recipe, Aggie! Looking forward to seeing all that the link up has to bring!


Tara @ Unsophisticook February 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Simple and delicious!


Tiffany Winner February 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm

my recipe for a quick healthy lunch:
saute 1/2 a chopped onion and a minced garlic clove in a T olive oil until tender, add a can of drained and rinsed Bush’s Garbanzo Beans until heated through. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.


Tiffany Winner February 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm
Tiffany Winner February 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm

liked bush’s beans on facebook


Kim | At Home With Kim February 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

This looks so good! I’m pinning it to make soon…. Love the twist on a classic. Looks so good and I’m wishing it were in a pot on my stove tonight!!!


claire @ the realistic nutritionist February 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm

That is the coziest looking soup ever!


JulieD February 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I linked up! :)


Cassie | Bake Your Day February 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I added my black bean hummus!


JulieD February 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm

I like Bush’s Beans on facebook


JulieD February 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm
Derrick Johnson February 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm

I love Bush’s Beans when I BBQ!


Rachel - A Southern Fairytale February 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm

That sounds delicious, Aggie! I linked up my Black Bean and Corn Pico De Gallo!


Paula - bell'alimento February 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I linked my Quinoa Stuffed Squash recipe : )


Paula - bell'alimento February 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I like Bush’s Beans on FB.


Leslie February 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I linked up my Pulled Pork with Black Beans and Yellow Rice!!! YUM


Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet February 4, 2013 at 7:18 pm

I tweeted


Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet February 4, 2013 at 7:18 pm

and follow Bush’s on FB


Jersey Girl Cooks February 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm

I just added a recipe for Sweet Potato and Black Eyed Pea Chili. Thanks for the giveaway chance!


Jersey Girl Cooks February 4, 2013 at 7:34 pm

I follow Bush’s Beans facebook page.


Liz - Meal Makeover Mom February 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Great giveaway Aggie. I am a huge Bush’s Beans fan. I hope you like my Peanut Butter soup w/ garbanzo beans!


Aggies Kitchen February 4, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Thanks Liz! That soup just caught my eye!! I know you love beans as much as I do :) Thanks for linking up!!


Liz - Meal Makeover Mom February 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm

I tweeted the giveaway @lizweiss


Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles February 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm

What a great soup, Aggie – pure comfort food! I linked up my favorite winter salsa, Black Bean Salsa with Olives.


Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles February 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I tweeted.


Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles February 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm

And I follow Bush’s Beans on facebook!


Kelly February 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Baked Bean Quesadillas

One 28-oz. can Bush’s Country Style Baked Beans (Black beans can be used too, would probably make more sense now that I think about it!)
6 flour tortillas (10-inch)
1 Tbs. melted butter or spray oil
1 cup low-fat sour cream
3 cups coarsely grated white or yellow Cheddar cheese
5 Anaheim mild green chilies, seeded, thinly sliced
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped, optional

Drain beans and reserve sauce. Heat grill or griddle to medium-high. Lay tortillas flat on work surface and spray tops with oil or brush with butter and flip over. Mix reserved bean sauce and sour cream. On top half of each tortilla, spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of sour cream mixture, baked beans, cheese, chilies (may substitute canned chopped mild green chilies), green onions and cilantro, if using. Fold empty, bottom portion of tortilla over ingredients.

Arrange quesadillas on griddle or grill grate and cook until tortillas are browned on both sides and cheese is melted, up to 2 minutes each side. If they brown too quickly on grill, move them to a cooler section of the grill grid so contents heat through and tortillas don’t burn. Serve as half-moons or cut into wedges.


Angel S. February 4, 2013 at 8:46 pm

We love hummus! Bush’s Garbanzo beans are wonderful. Good texture, flavorful and great color! Try this:
Hummus Recipe
Add to shopping list
2 garlic cloves, mashed and then minced
2 15-oz cans of Bush’s garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
2/3 cup of tahini (roasted, not raw)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Pine nuts (toasted) and parsley (chopped) for garnish
1 In a food processor, combine the garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste.

2 Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley.

Serve with crackers, raw dip vegetables such as carrots or celery, or with pita bread. You can cut the pita bread into thin triangles, brush with olive oil and toast for 10 minutes in a 400°F oven to make pita chips with which to serve the hummus.

Makes about 3 cups.


Sheila February 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm

I love to add beans to everything! And nothing warms ya up on a cold day in da North like a hot bowl of soup! So many great recipes Aggie ; )


Sheila February 4, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I tweeted and I already follow Bushs Beans FB page.


Rachel Cooks February 5, 2013 at 7:36 am

Linked up!


Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts February 5, 2013 at 7:45 am

How timely! I just added a can of white beans to a green tomato and pork chili I was making–delicious. I’ll skip the giveaway this time since I won’t have the blog post up until green tomato season (I’d put up my green tomatoes in the freezer last fall).

One question–why didn’t you rinse the beans? I did, was I not supposed to rinse them?

Thanks, Aggie!


Jeanette February 5, 2013 at 8:20 am

We love beans, especially in dips and chili. I’ve linked up two of our family favorites: Hot Black Bean Salsa Dip and Roasted Corn, Avocado and Black Bean


Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen February 5, 2013 at 11:39 am

Hi Aggie :) I linked up my Tex-Mex Turkey Soup.


Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen February 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

I also linked up my Chili Cornbread Bake.


Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen February 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

I tweeted the giveaway.


Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen February 5, 2013 at 11:41 am

I follow Bush’s Beans on FB.


Suzanne February 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm
amy February 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm
Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife February 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm

This looks like it would warm you right up and taste so wonderful.


Jersey Girl Cooks February 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Just tweeted.


jacquie February 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm

no “real” recipe … combine black beans, a bit of rice or barley or other whole grain and top w/ a slew of sautaed seasonal veggies. quick, tasty and nutrioius,


Carolsue February 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm
Carolsue February 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm

And I follow Bush’s on Facebook as Carolsue Andeson


Donna February 7, 2013 at 8:58 am



Donna February 7, 2013 at 9:00 am

Liked “Bush Beans” on Facebook!


Lorraine February 7, 2013 at 9:19 am

Just retweeted… Now to link up :)


Lorraine Colon February 7, 2013 at 9:49 am

Spanish Bean Soup (serves 4 – 6)

2 Cans of Bush’s Garbanzo Beans (not drained)
1 qt of Chicken Broth
1 Andouille sausage, cut in half and sliced (can also use Kielbasa or Chorizo sausage)
3 Red potatoes, quartered & thinly slice
1/2 large onion, diced
1/4 cup of Sofito (3 Cubes)
1 envelope of Sazon with saffron
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
salt to taste
Heat 1 Tbs of olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat, add 4 cubes of sofrito (1/4 cup), cook until it breaks down, abt. 5 mins.

Add sausage & onions, cook until onions are soft and translucent, add potatoes and garbanzo beans (undrained), chicken stock & an envelope of Sazon con Azafran, stir.

Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Serve hot with bread and butter.


Mark February 7, 2013 at 10:06 am

I like Bush Beans on Facebook!


Mark February 7, 2013 at 10:07 am

Just tweeted!!


Donna February 7, 2013 at 10:10 am

My Recipe is pretty basic, simple, & fast.

Dice a small onion, 2 medium potatoes, place into your favorite medium sized kettle. Add just enough water to cover and simmer until the potatoes are done.

Northern Bean Soup

Add a 32 oz. carton of chicken broth, beef if you prefer, 1 1/2 cups diced, pre-cooked, ready to eat, ham. I sometimes use the pre-diced packaged ham to save time & 1 to 2 cans of Bush Northern beans, drained.

Let simmer until all ingredients are heated and enjoy.


Mercedes C. February 9, 2013 at 10:48 am

I tweeted :)


e kolter February 10, 2013 at 9:00 pm

liked bush beans on FB


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