Sunday, May 31, 2009

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 consistancy you like..
A great soup, or bean style stew. With crusty bread its a winner every time.
2 cans 16oz 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

Brown fresh garlic in enough olive oil to cover bottom of medium pot (approximately 2 quart pan). Remove garlic when brown (do not burn). Drain beans and add to pot. Add herbs and spices ( I use all fresh herbs) add chopped escarole or spinach. Add celery hearts and tomatoes. Cover and let simmer on medium heat for approximately 1/2 hour.
In a 2 quart pot, boil water for ditalini or preferred pastine . Stir occasionally to keep from sticking. About 10 minutes when al dente (chewy) drain, rinse. This should be thick and not like soup, but more of a thick base with beans, cook longer if too soupy and by adding 1/2 cup grating cheese to thicken it . Add cooked pasta of choice.

Optional: Grate more Romano cheese on top pasta fasioli 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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