As the cold weather hits, i'm looking for a simple starter recipe. Thanks.
This is a pasta e fagiole recipe from my Italian grandfather, who called it "pasta e fazool" for some reason. (I am typing it at my office, so I'm guessing at some of the quantities.) It assumes that you already have some tomato sauce available -- preferably a simple, home-made sauce without too many extraneuous ingredients. This takes about 45 minutes.
Take half a small yellow onion, half of a small carrot stick, and half of a small celery stick. Dice them into very small pieces, and saute them in a tablespoon or two on low heat for several minutes until soft.
Add about a cup of tomato sauce, and continue to heat on low heat for another 10 minutes.
Then add one small can of white cannellini beans (drained first), plus one cup of water, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Then add a half cup of small pasta (e.g., ditalini) and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the pasta is done. You can add more water during this last stage, if you feel that it is getting too thick or dry.
Finally, let the pasta a fagiole rest covered in the pan for a few minutes. Serve in a bowl with grated romano or parmesan.