Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)
Serves: 8 to 10
Experienced home cooks are masters at making delicious, healthy and economical meals from simple ingredients. By cooking in quantity, they fuel their families with nourishing meals to enjoy all winter. Try this recipe by an experienced PCC Cooks instructor for a hearty taste of home.
- 4 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (see note) Add to list
- 4 cups water, plus additional as needed Add to list
- Salt, to taste Add to list
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling Add to list
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced Add to list
- 1 stalk celery, chopped Add to list
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped (optional) Add to list
- 5 ounces cherry tomatoes, cut in half Add to list
- 10 ounces dried cut pasta, such as small shells or elbows (see note) Add to list
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil Add to list
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas (optional) Add to list
In a large soup pot, combine rinsed and drained beans with 4 cups salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
In a saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, celery and carrots for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes. Add tomato mixture to beans and stir. Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
Add pasta, stir, then cook over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until pasta is al dente (soft enough to bite, but still firm). (Add more water, as needed, for pasta to cook.) Stir in peas, if using. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes, allowing pasta to absorb liquid.
To serve, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with fresh basil. This dish holds well for several days refrigerated.
To use dried white beans: soak 1 pound dried beans overnight in 8 cups water. Drain and rinse. Boil the soaked beans for 1 hour in 4 cups of salted water until tender. Drain. Continue with the recipe as if using canned beans.
If you want to freeze this dish, omit adding the pasta. Thaw, heat and serve drizzled with olive oil over slices of crusty bread.
Recipe by, PCC Cooks instructor
Source: January 2009 Sound Consumer