Pasta e Fagioli

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Most often, pasta e fagioli is a hearty, unpretentious, family-style meal for a wintery day. But pasta e fagiole is exactly the kind of dish that can be improvised and changed according to inspiration and what’s available. The way we make it, thick and hearty, it could probably be listed with pasta sauces. We combine the pasta and the bean soup at the last minute in individual bowls.

 

Pasta Fagioli
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish, Pasta
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced into half moons
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • pound spinach (or 5 leaves of chard, tough stems removed, and coarsely chopped)
  • 3 cups chopped plum tomatoes with liquid (28-ounce can)
  • 15-ounce can canellini (white kidney beans) with liquid (or I cup cooked dried beans)
  • cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves (1 teaspoon dried)
  • oregano (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound short, chunky pasta (ziti, spirals, or shells)
  • grated Parmesan (optional)
  • olive oil (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot.
  2. Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery for a few minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, zucchini, and any dried herbs you're using. Sauté, stirring occasionally.
  4. A few minutes later add the spinach or chard and cook until just wilted.
  5. Mix in the tomatoes and white beans.
  6. Add water to make it the consistency you like.
  7. Flavor with parsley, fresh herbs, and black pepper.
  8. Simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes while you cook the pasta.
  9. Cook the pasta al dente in a large pot of boiling water. Drain.
  10. In individual pasta bowls, serve pasta topped with the "bean soup." If desired, top with grated Parmesan and drizzle on a little olive oil.
Notes

Substitute or add any fresh vegetables you like: green or red bell peppers, summer squash, green beans, etc. Also, the addition of a chopped fresh tomato at the end is nice. Use fresh, rather than dried, herbs when you can.

 
 
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