Pasta e Fagioli - Pasta Fazool (Featured picture below)

Pasta e Fagioli - Pasta Fazool ( Picture made at Easter 2009)

Grandma use to make this so many ways, thick, with greens, thin as soup, you can use this basic recipe and make it the consistency you like..
A great soup, or beans and pasta dish. With crusty bread its a winner every time.
2 cans 16oz  cannellini beans or white great northern beans or fresh cooked beans or you can use
2 can cannellini beans if you prefer
1 can 16 oz can whole tomatoes cut up....
2 cans 8oz each chicken broth
salt, pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped celery hearts
1/4 cup chopped escarole or spinach
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh basil leaf, 2 cloves chopped or 2 teaspoons fresh garlic minced and 1 teaspoon parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder ...optional pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for a little heat.
1/2 lb. ditalini boiled separately and drained or baby shells, and even orzo will work.
grating cheese
Canola or Extra Virgin Olive oil

One of the first recipes I ever learned to make. Every Region in Italy makes it a little different. I have had many versions, by far this is our favorite in flavor. Saute fresh garlic in enough olive oil to cover bottom of medium pot till golden and fragrant. Remove garlic when starting to brown (do not burn). Drain beans and add to pot. Add herbs and spices add chopped escarole. Add celery hearts,broth and tomatoes. Cover and let simmer on medium heat for approximately ½ hour. In a 2 quart pot, boil water for ditalini to package instructions and drain. Add ½ cup grated cheese to the beans to thicken it add more broth if too thick. Stir in cooked pasta. Serve with garlic bread and red pepper flakes on top.

Optional: Grate more Romano cheese on top pasta fagioli when serving. A nice addition to this dish, is cheesy parmesan garlic bread , or just plain crusty Italian bread. I double this recipe. You can adapt any way you like.

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