So it’s the day before pay day and you’re feeling pretty broke. You have nothing in the fridge to eat. You start to scavenge for food. You find some dried pasta, white beans and sun dried tomatoes in your pantry. Plus some asparagus and bacon in your fridge. Put it all together and you have a warm dinner. Best of all, it’s delicious.

Pasta is my go-to when the bank account is running low. I simply search for ingredients that will taste good together and throw that in with some noodles. Because we all have pasta in the pantry right? It’s one of those pantry staples that are a necessity. I also love to have canned beans, pesto and sun dried tomatoes on hand as well. I’m the queen of “making something out of nothing” and you can be too. You just have to get creative and experiment a little.

Feel free to mix this recipe up a bit. Throw in whatever you have on hand. Maybe chicken instead of bacon? Or broccoli in place of asparagus? Basil pesto in place of sun dried tomatoes? This is one of those pastas that doesn’t have to be perfect. Play with the flavors and make it your own.


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-5


  • 1 lb cestini pasta
  • 8 pieces thick cut bacon
  • 2 shallots, small chop
  • 3 large cloves garlic, small chop
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes
  • 15.5 oz. can great northerner beans
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 1 bunch asparagus, bottom removed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water


  1. Cook pasta to al dente. Drain but do not rinse. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water for later use.
  2. Heat a large pan to medium heat. Cook bacon till crispy. Remove and roughly chop. Set aside. Drain the bacon fat but do not rinse the pan. Place the pan back over the heat.
  3. Add in shallots, garlic, sun dried tomatoes and the oil. Sauté till onions are soft. Add in the lemon juice and a few tbsp of the reserved pasta water to deglaze the pan. Scrape the bottom of pan to loosen any cooked on bits.
  4. Add in the beans, half and half and parmesan . Bring to a soft boil and mix as the beans cook.
  5. After a few minutes add in the asparagus and a few tbsp of the pasta water. Allow to cook for a few minutes till the asparagus is tender.
  6. Add in the pasta and half of the bacon. Toss together. Add in more pasta water if necessary.
  7. Serve hot with extra parm and the rest of the bacon as a topping.

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