SUPER EASY PASTA FAGIOLI
Pasta e Fagiole sometimes spoken as “pastafazoo” Simply means pasta and beans in Italian. Its a very simple comfort dish easily made in minutes at home and very economic. Today was the perfect day for it as the temperature was freezing and didn’t feel like doing a lot of cooking, going out, or ordering in. This is something that is famed in the Italian household and as simple as it is, too many people still don’t know how to make it as simple as it is.
For me, this was all made from leftovers. I had an opened box of Chicken stock. This dish usually includes chicken stock, so I basically brought a saucepan with the stock to a boil and add a half a cup of tubetti pasta. I had a box open from the last time I made it several months ago. Once the past is cooked and soft (you don’t want it al dente in this case), you can add half your jar of open tomato sauce. I wrote earlier this week about jarred sauces, so I had a little less than half a jar of Mario Batali’s Cherry Tomato Marinara. After the pasta was cooked, I added in the can of small white beans, stirred through to heat them, then added in the tomato sauce from the jar and continued to heat. Everything is there that would be if you cooked it from scratch: salt, pepper, tomatoes, garlic, basil (or parsley or celery leaves). Again, ingredients vary from recipe to recipe, but its pretty simple stuff, and practically everything is in the pantry, even if its a can of tomatoes packed with garlic and basil.
Depending on how you serve it, as an appetizer or main course, you are going to get 2-6 servings from this. If you have leftovers, great, just remember, when reheating, to add a little bit of water, because the pasta continues to absorb the liquid while sitting, even in the refrigerator. So add water to your likes, whether you want it more like soup or more like a stew. Fresh bread always helps, and certainly top it with grated cheese or extra virgin olive oil. 20 Minute meal that feeds at least 4 and you have leftovers. Its fast, its healthy, its delicious, its comforting, and its something certainly everyone loves.
If you don’t want to take shortcuts or “cheat” and make it from scratch, its not much more different or difficult. In one pot boil salted water, add pasta, in another, add your oil, garlic, herbs, tomatoes, chicken stock, add in a can of well drained/washed beans to heat through, drain pasta (retain some of the pasta water if you like it more like soup). There are recipes that call for bacon or pancetta, even bay leaf. Its all according to your tastes, but the original was without meat of any kind. Its a vegetarian dish, however, smoked bacon and/or Italian pancetta adds a level of flavor. If you serve it with good Italian bread, you certainly mind missing the meat or even if the meat is in it.