Pasta e Fagioli
As you can see, I’ve broken out the “Easy Vegetarian” cookbook for some simple quick recipes for this last week of classes. I’ve got a lot of work to do in the next 2 weeks and it’s going to be nice to have fast recipes to put together in the evenings so my focus can be elsewhere. This recipe is special because I decided to use dry navy beans to make this. I tried cooking with dry beans when I lived in China and could never quite get it right. This time everything worked out great, which renews a bit of the shattered cooking confidence that my previous experience with dry beans in China busted apart. According to Wikipedia (I know, I know…), “pasta e fagioli” actually means “pasta and beans” which definitely outlines the basics of this dish. I’m about to put it in bowls and I’m pretty excited because it looks thick and filling and nice. After tasting some of it I would add in a couple more tomatoes and a bit more broth. I had about 1/2 a cup more beans than the recipe called for and I think I should have balanced that with a bit more tomato and broth. All in all, it is a really lovely and filling soup. Go ahead and try it for yourself!
Oh and P.S. don’t forget to dump a teaspoon of baking soda into the cooking beans to reduce flatulence! Don’t say I don’t help posterity! 😉
Pasta e Fagioli
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 potato, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
5 cups veggie broth
a sprig of thyme, sage or rosemary
2 lb. canned navy beans, about 4 cups drained and rinsed
8 oz. small dried pasta shapes, about 2 cups
a pinch of hot red pepper flakes
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
2. Add the onion, garlic and potato and cook 3-4 minutes till golden.
3. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes till softened.
4. Add the broth, herbs, beans, pasta, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer 10 minutes until the pasta and potatoes are cooked.
5. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan.