Pasta with White Beans, Carrots & Tomatoes

Sweet caramelized onions, carrot juice, and spicy cayenne pepper form the base of this luscious pasta sauce. If you prefer, you can substitute a 19-ounce can of cannellini beans for the dried. Rinse and drain the canned beans to get rid of most of the sodium. Reserve H cup of the pasta cooking liquid to add to the sauce instead of the bean cooking liquid.

1 cup (8 ounces) dried cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon dried sage
12 ounces whole-wheat penne
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds Spanish onions, diced
2 carrots, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 cups carrot juice
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

1 Place the beans and cold water to cover in a bowl and refrigerate overnight. Drain. Transfer the beans to a large saucepan, add water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer, add half the garlic, the lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon of the sage. Partially cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the bean cooking liquid.
2 Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
3 In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onions and remaining garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Add the carrots and cook 5 minutes.
4 Add the carrot juice, salt, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sage, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
5 Add the cooked beans and reserved bean cooking liquid, and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pasta, tomatoes, and pine nuts, and toss to combine. Makes 6 servings

Makes Makes 6 servings servings.
Per serving: 434 calories, 4.5g total fat (0.8g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 15g dietary fiber, 85g carbohydrate, 20g protein, 345mg sodium.