Dishing Up the Dirt

Broccoli & White Bean Pasta

Today was the first official “oh shit, we’re out of farming shape” day of the season. We experience this same day every year but that doesn’t mean it gets any easier. After a long  and dark winter I feel like we are bears coming out of hibernation. We’re groggy, a little out of sorts and damn hungry! But seriously, these first long and epic days of work are always an ass kicking.  Today felt like a marathon but we survived despite some unexpected challenges. We hand planted over 4,500 onions in record time and were feeling good until the tractor broke down in the middle of spreading fertilizer over the upper field. As a result, our entire afternoon plans got derailed. Luckily, after a few panicked phone calls, our local tractor mechanic swung by (on his day off ) to fix our problem free of charge. Have I mentioned I love where we live?  Trevor, your next few beers at the pub are on us brother! Our day wasn’t over yet….we had a ton of work to make up for in the greenhouse and just as we were getting in our groove we heard some terrible noises from the chicken coop. Unfortunately, we lost a few of our girls to some hungry hawks today. Such a bummer.  This may not have been the day we had planned but we survived. Spring is always the most stressful and emotional time at the farm but each year we’re learning to take it in strides.

We are now easing our sore muscles with a few cold beers and this tasty broccoli and white bean pasta. This dish is tossed in a simple lemon tahini sauce which has the perfect balance of creamy, tangy and salty. If you’ve had “one of those days” I think you’ll appreciate this dish. It’s simple, flavorful and on the table in less than 30 minutes. Pour a glass of wine or crack open a beer and dig in.

Cheers to unwinding and knowing that tomorrow is a clean slate!

Broccoli & White Bean Pasta

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 15 minutes    Serves: 4

Lemon Tahini Sauce
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water + additional to thin if necessary
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon minced parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces Rigatoni pasta (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 pound broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 (15 ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained (navy, cannellini or butter beans)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the lemon tahini sauce by combining all the ingredients and whisking until completely smooth and creamy. This works best with an immersion blender or small food processor. Taste test and adjust as necessary.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
  3. Place a steamer basket in another pot of boiling water. Add the broccoli, cover the pan, and steam until the broccoli turns bright green and tender, about 4 minutes.
  4. Toss the cooked pasta, broccoli and white beans with the lemon tahini sauce. Add additional cooking liquid from the pasta if the sauce is too thick or the pasta seems dry. Season pasta to taste with plenty of salt and pepper and serve.


*Use this recipe as a guide *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary

Leave a Reply

2 thoughts on “Broccoli & White Bean Pasta

  1. Lynne Stephens says:

    Enjoy your posts, Andrea, and just got your cookbook! Going to share this recipe on my health coaching FB page today!

  2. Mary says:

    Loving your book and your recipes – also love hearing about your life on the farm – I have a new appreciation for the farmers at the farmer’s market!

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