Pasta e Fagioli, aka noodles and beans

Sounds so much better in Italian, no? I was first introduced to this dish by an Italian lady for whom I cleaned house as I put myself through college. She whipped up a batch of this thick soup, and had it cooking all day long as I scrubbed through the house. Drove me nuts, it smelled so great!

This is a super-easy recipe, courtesy of Epicurious, and a great way to use up the last of your summer tomatoes. I love it. Use some grated aged goat cheese to replace the parm, if you like. I just made a new batch and included chopped ripe tomatoes, freshly-harvested chopped carrots and celery, as well as chopped fresh marjoram and rosemary. Make the seasonings your own, and enjoy! You can also add in ground meat if you like, but the soup is so flavorful you don’t really need meat. Let the beans be your protein for this meal.

 

Some call this dish pasta fazool. I call it tasty.

 

yield: Serves 2 to 4

A robust mix of white beans and macaroni in a light tomato sauce, ready to serve in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 16-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, drained, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, freshly cooked
  • Grated Parmesan

Preparation

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Add parsley, basil and oregano and simmer until tomatoes soften, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes with back of spoon, about 15 minutes. Add beans and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Place pasta in bowl. Toss with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Pour sauce over and toss thoroughly. Serve, passing Parmesan separately.

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