I recently rehydrated several batches of dried beans in my pressure cooker…and forgetting to set the timer, I accidentally overcooked my cannellini beans so they were quite mushy. Now what was I going to do with these mushy beans?

Cannellini beans, sometimes called White Kidney Beans, have 15-17 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber in a cup of cooked beans. When paired with a whole grain, they form a complete protein and that’s the kind of food we like to eat, healthy and tasty! So what am I going to do with my mushy, overcooked beans? I’m going to turn them into a type of hummus-adding sun-dried tomatoes for color and flavor-and serve it over whole wheat pasta. The end result was a nutritious and delicious dish that I think you’re going to love!

And guess what? You don’t HAVE to have mushy cannellini beans to make it! Just the regular, out-of-the-can ones work just as well, even though the mushiness of mine was what gave me the inspiration for this dish. I’ve made Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto before-but found it too intense and didn’t really care for it. But paired with the mild-tasting cannellini beans, the sun-dried tomatoes gives it just the right amount of flavor. Here’s what you need to make this yummy hummus-pesto sauce…

Since I live in Italy, I always rehydrate my own sun-dried tomatoes, but you can purchase them dried, or already rehydrated and marinated in oil.

If you only have dried tomatoes, pour boiling water over them, cover them and let them soak for about an hour. Then drain and use them like that, adding a bit more olive oil to the mixture to compensate for not having that delicious yellowish green oil the jarred ones are marinated in.

To make the hummus-pesto sauce, I first I process the drained tomatoes and a small clove of garlic, so they get pureed really well. Then I add the other, softer ingredients and process until smooth…

Meanwhile, I bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop in my whole wheat pasta. Off course you can use regular pasta instead and nearly any shape of pasta works fine.

Once the pasta is almost cooked, I spoon some of the starchy pasta water into the mixture to thin it out…

And stir it into the hummus-pesto mixture…

Once the pasta is drained, I combine everything in the still-warm pot and stir to coat… (You could mix it all in a serving bowl but I really like my food hot! So I almost always stir the sauce into the warm pot and serve the individual plates right from the pot, though you could transfer it to a warmed serving dish if you prefer.)

Notice the almost hidden measuring cup of pasta water in the lower left-hand corner of the photo above. I try to remember to scoop out some of the pasta water before I drain it. That way if the dish seems dry, I can thin it out with this reserved pasta water. If you forget to save out some of the water-as I sometimes do-just add a bit of hot water. While the starchy pasta water is best, nothing is much worse than dried, stuck-together pasta, so just use a little hot water.

So, is it sun-dried tomato pesto? Or is it cannellini hummus? I’m not sure what to call it! The sun-dried tomatoes add lots of flavor to the nutritious beans, resulting in a quick and easy, delicious weekday meal you can whip up in no time! A salad on the side. Some crusty bread to wipe all that yummy sauce out of your bowl. That’s my kind of food!

Enjoy! Ciao!


Cannellini Hummus with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Yield: 2 servings; can easily be doubled


  • 1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes, in oil (about 15, depending on size)
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2 C. (60 g) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 T. olive oil (or more if desired)
  • 1 C. cannellini beans (half of a 15 oz./400 g can)
  • Red pepper flakes, if you like it spicy
  • 6 oz. (175 g) whole wheat pasta


  1. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes from the oil. (If you only have dried sun-dried tomatoes, pour boiling water over them and let them set for at least one hour. Drain and use like that, adding a bit more olive oil to the mixture to compensate for less oil.)
  2. Process the tomatoes with the garlic. Add the Parmesan, olive oil and cannellini beans, as well as the red pepper flakes if desired. Do not add salt since sun-dried tomatoes are usually very salty. The mixture will be fairly thick.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
  4. When the pasta is almost cooked, use some of the pasta water to thin the sauce to a desired consistency.
  5. Drain the pasta. Add the drained pasta and the thinned sauce into the hot pan and stir to coat.


  1. 4-4-2021

    Thanks so much for sharing this idea. I left my cannellini beans on the stove for too long so have blended them as you suggested - with semi dried tomatoes and parmesan. Yum!

    • 4-4-2021

      Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did! Plus it’s quick and easy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *