By Joanne Bruno | August 13, 2012

While I try to be super PC about most things in my life, I have a confession to make: I occasionally judge my beans by their pod color. (Oops.)

But when they are just so vibrantly magenta and pretty-in-pink, can you really blame me? I didn’t think so. Fresh cranberry beans are just too pretty to pass up, and the good news is that their beauty is not only skin deep…they are delicious as well. They taste largely like white beans, but with a little less mushiness to them, and happen to meld perfectly with artichokes and zucchini in this pasta dish. Unfortunately the beans lose their color after cooking, making the finished dish seem a little ho-hum in comparison to its starting ingredients, but I can promise you that what it lacks in color, it makes up for in flavor.

Photos: Joanne Bruno

Pasta with Cranberry Beans & Artichokes Recipe

Servings: 4
Calories: 350 per serving
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 25
Total Time: 45


  • 1/2 lb pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, including some green parts, washed and thinly sliced
  • 3 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then thinly sliced
  • 1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 lb fresh cranberry beans, boiled in salted water 20-30 minutes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly ground parmesan cheese, for garnish


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
2. While it comes to a boil, put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the leeks and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the zucchini and saute until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the artichokes, veggie broth, and beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the flavors blend, about 5 minutes.
3. When the water from the first step comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta. Combine the pasta and the veggie mix and stir gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

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