Friday, March 12, 2010

Pasta Fagiola

(I like to eat my pasta fagiola with the hand-whittled spoon my brother made for me)

Pasta Fagiola

Here's what you'll need for a medium saucepot:
  1. extra virgin olive oil
  2. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 large onion, diced
  4. 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  5. 2 medium carrots, chopped
  6. 2-3 cups of canned Italian tomatoes in puree
  7. fresh parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary
  8. 1 1/2 cups of dried cannelli beans, soaked overnight and cooked in lots of water OR
  9. 3 15-ounce cans of cannelli beans, rinsed and drained
  10. 1/2 cup of uncooked ditalini pasta
  11. end piece of hard grating cheese
  12. salt and pepper to taste
  • Pour enough olive oil into the bottom of your saucepan to almost cover.
  • Saute the garlic and onion until it starts to sweat; then add the celery and carrots.
  • Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and continue to cook until the vegetables are near tender.
  • Add the fresh herbs (a small handful of chopped parsley; a few leaves of basil; a few sprigs of oregano; a sprig of fresh rosemary)
  • Add the tomatoes (either chop them or squish them through your hands); raise the heat a bit and let simmer for a few minutes.
  • Add the end piece of cheese; continue simmering the vegetable/sauce mixture for another 10 minutes or so.
  • Add the beans; mix well; turn down the heat.

Now take a look at the pot and see how much liquid is there. If you used dried beans and cooked them in a lot of water, save the cooking liquid and add that to the pot (about 4-6 six cups of liquid depending on your pot). If you used canned beans, then you can add a couple cups of vegetable broth and a couple cups of water.

You can puree a couple cups of the bean/vegetable mixture at this point and return to the pot. It helps thicken the mix; make sure you don't scoop up the piece of cheese in the process.

Let simmer and then raise the heat before adding the 1/2 cup of ditalini.

I like to use ditalini because when it all melds together, the beans often find themselves nestled inside the little "tubes." You can use any type of small pasta, such as shells or those mini bow ties used for soups, but ditialini really fits the bill and, besides, that's what Mom used!

Let the "fazool" simmer until the pasta is cooked.

When you first serve it, it will be a bit soupy. But when stored overnight in the fridge, the pasta swells up and you might have to add a little more water when reheating.

Drizzle a little olive oil on top of each bowl, season with salt and pepper, if it needs it, sprinkle some crushed red pepper on top and a grating of parmesan.


Barbara Gallo Farrell said...

It is one of those classic family dishes, Maryann! How can you go wrong with a bowl of "fazool?"

Anonymous said...

Barbara, I made this soup over the weekend using your recipe. IT WAS FANTASTIC!! It's certainly going to become a classic winter dish in my house. It's so hearty and warm. It really fills you up. Thanks for posting!

Barbara Gallo Farrell said...

Oh, I'm glad you like it, anon! It's easy to make — were you humming "Amore"? Thanks for visiting!

DanaSagona said...

this looks delicious! I am going to make it this week!!

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