We are back and ready for Fall! Although I am truly a summer lover, the autumn season brings with it lots of comfort foods that I’ve been craving. Soups, stews, roasts and baking all come to mind as we enter into a new season. I’ve got some great recipes lined up for you and am looking forward to sharing them!
Today’s recipe is for Pasta Fagioli or otherwise known as, if you’re Italian-American, as Pasta Fazool! There are numerous variations on this wonderful dish according to where you are from in Italy. I was lucky enough to get this recipe from a coworker and dear friend of mine named Sylvia and let me tell you she is someone who knows what she is doing in the kitchen. Since the loss of my mom she has taught me a lot about cooking. We joke that she can make sticks taste good.
This dish is perfect for a chilly, rainy evening. It will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside and satisfied. It’s great to freeze as well. I store the leftovers in a little tupperware and take them for lunch from time to time.
- Extra-virgin olive oil (2 tablespoons)
- Pancetta (3 slices sliced)
- 1/2 box of Ditalini Pasta
- 1/2 white onion sliced thin
- 3 ribs of celery and some torn up celery leaves
- 4 carrots sliced
- 2 cans of canellini beans
- 2 1/2 cans of water
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 6-8 cloves of garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add pancetta and brown. You can get pancetta at any Italian deli or you can buy those little boxes of diced pancetta you see in the super markets. I prefer to get in from the deli, just ask for 3-4 slices of pancetta. Tell them what you’re making and they should know how thick to make it. You do want thick slices not as thin as you would have on a sandwich or something. Ok, so back to the cooking. Then add onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Don’t forget to throw in some torn up celery leaves, these little gems are often discarded or forgotten about but they pack a lot of punch and flavor and should always be thrown in to your soups and stuff! Cook for a few minutes until onion is tender. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Add your beans, tomato sauce and water. I like my pasta fazool more red than white so I add the cam of tomato sauce but you can add less if you prefer. Cook on low for an hour or until carrots are tender.
Meanwhile, in another pot, cook your pasta until al dente. I do not add my pasta to the soup until ready to eat as doing so causes the pasta to soak up all the juice. It’s better to leave your pasta on the side and add it to your bowl as you go along.
Serve with grated cheese and bread if you like and dig in