We all know of Pasta fazool, that popular dish of pasta and beans traditionally served as a  soup. Normally, the beans used are cannellini, navy beans, or great northern beans; although I’ve come across variants where elbow macaroni or ditalini may be substituted. Recently, I had some canned white beans on hand, plus some bucatini pasta. So I made my own variation, adding some common Puerto Rican ingredients we have in our cooking. That being the case, I call this dish, Nuyorican Pasta Fazool. And it is not as soupy as in the traditional Italian version. I made it more of a sauce, to which I added spinach, which  I paired with the bucatini. Note that for this variation, you can use whatever string pasta desired, be it spaghetti, linguini, fusilli or even fettuccine.

With some crusty bread and a good red wine (or white, if preferred) you have a new take on an old favorite. And, yes, you can imagine where this is going. Add hoisin or soy sauce to the beans, and served over Asian noodles and now you have Chinese (or Japanese or Thai) Pasta fazool. You probably think, this is getting crazy here. But doesn’t the thrust of cooking involve innovation and experimentation?  As I ‘ve stated numerous times: let your imagination rule.



1 pound (16 oz.) package bucatini or favorite pasta
1 bunch fresh spinach, about 1 pound
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 (15.5 oz.) cans white beans, drained
½ cup water
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 packet Goya Sazόn or Sa-zόn Accent


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Cut off the thick stems of the spinach and discard. Rinse the spinach in cold running water to make sure it’s clean, and shred it in pieces with your hands.
  3. In a large pan or pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add garlic and cook briefly, stirring until just golden.
  4. Add the beans and  the ½ cup water. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Add sazόn and cook about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach and stir to combine. When the spinach has wilted, place cooked pasta in a serving dish. Top with bean/spinach mixture and serve.
    Yield: 4-6 servings.