True Italian white beans are cannellini beans; these white beans are a form of kidney beans that originated in South America. Great northern beans, although slightly larger, are a common substitute for cannellini beans.
Trendy restaurants offer bean dishes, such as this one, served alongside a pasta dish. If you'd like to do the same, choose an interesting pasta shape. Try rice-shaped rosamarina (orzo), spring-shaped fusilli, bow-tie-shaped farfalle or twisted gemelli.