Believe it or not, I had Pasta Fagioli for the first time ever last night... and I'm already hooked! What a healthy, hearty, and delicious soup for the fall and winter. I quickly Googled the recipe, and they all seem to be pretty much the same. However, does anyone have a standout Pasta Fagioli recipe or tips/tricks that's a must make?
Actually, I've had it meatless....or with Italian sausage....or with ground beef...so there are definitely variations out there! What was in the one you loved? Epicurious currently has a meatless one on their "most popular" list, for what it's worth!
I follow the recipe of my grandmother, the simple version and the one with the mussels are also common in Italy.
Mine is an old recipe of Naples, I try to translate it:
The picture and original original text here:)
http://croce-delizia.blogspot.com/200... (translator on the top right
Pasta e fagioli con le cozze
300 g short pasta
300 g dried cannellini beans
1 kg of mussels,
1 rib of celery
2 cloves garlic
4 or 5 tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
The first step is to soak dried beans.
Soak for at least 12 hours. Then rinse and pour into a saucepan with cold water, a clove of garlic, a stalk of celery and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil and cook long and slowly, simmer, absolutely no cover and no salt, for about 2 hours. Drain the beans and keep a little 'cooking water filtered.
Making fried in an earthenware pot with a little oil (3-4 tablespoons) a clove of crushed garlic, half a stick of celery and a sliced red pepper (if you like, otherwise it is completed with a generous grinding of pepper directly into plate).
( My grandmother at this point add the pork rind in recent times often replaced by the crust of the grain, "why do not you throw anything away, that cooking in the soup tends to melt some more seasoning and the dish it remains a chewy crust that is a real pleasure to eat. )
Instead we continue to make the pasta and beans with mussels ...
Add a bit 'of water, three or four fingers, and bake for fifteen minutes then add the crushed tomatoes, the cooked beans and a little' cooking water of those previously put aside. Cook for 30 minutes or more, so that amalgamate the flavors and the beans to complete their cooking.
Removed some of the beans from the pan and pass it through a sieve and then bringing the past to the soup on the fire.
Clean mussels, wash them, put them in a large pan on the fire to efatele open flame, peel and reserve the cooking liquid that you are going to add all or part of the bean soup.
Salt: I always prefer to add it to the end because the right dose will depend on the amount of liquid released from the mussels that you are going to add to the soup.
Cook the pasta in plenty of water, not too salty. Drain and add half-cooked beans to finish cooking and a few seconds before turning off the flame add also shelled mussels.
Depending on your personal taste, you can still add the cooking water or the filtrate of mussels (always being careful to salt), so superior computing soup more or less dense.
Pasta and beans is very good hot, but you should definitely try it the next day, cold, and then let me know.
Here's my tried and true.... probably changed over the years from my family's recipe but very tasty and satisfying. A mixed veggie tossed salad would be served after the soup.
2 tablespoons EVOO
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 medium onion chopped
2 quarts chicken stock
3 cups cooked kidney or cannellini beans
2 cups pasta: small shells, or any of the other small macaroni
Salt, pepper and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
In a heavy pot heat olive oil over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the parsley and the onions and cook over high heat, until they are browned about 8 to10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the cooked beans and bring to a boil. Add seasonings to your taste. Add the pasta and cook till done. Remove from heat and allow to rest 10 minutes. Grate Pecorino Romano generously over each serving.
Note: The amounts may vary according to how much you want to make.
Sometimes I start with 1/4 cup diced pancetta.
If I have any leftover macaroni sauce I add that in.
You can serve with a fresh baked loaf of Italian bread if you desire.
Sara, I really do not think it matters which beans one uses. In fact I remember my mother using chick peas with this soup sometimes. The thing about Italian cooking is that one uses whatever one has on hand to bring the dish to the satisfaction of the family, and the nearest approximation of what the dish should taste like. Every family has their own rendition of whatever dish and even within the family there are variations of the same dish. And that goes for here in the the USA and in Italy.
This is almost exactly the same as Mario Batali's recipe. Cooking the parsley for a full 10 minutes was a test of faith the first time I made it. But what an amazing amount of flavor. I save the bits and pieces of pasta when I make it as home in the freezer to throw into the soup.
However, I only put pasta into the soup I will serve that night. The first time, I stored the pasta in the soup and was shocked to find a soggy mess of pasta and no soup in the tupperware the next day.