Warm and comforting, nutritious, filling, can feel a large crowd, economical and easy to prepare.
Throughout the month of February in my cooking classes, book signing events, and corporate cooking demonstration events, my grandmother’s recipe for ‘Pasta Fajoli’ received rave reviews. So much so, that I thought I would post it for those who were unable to join us in February. You can also find it on page 41 of “MaMa Mia Cucina.”
Pasta e Fajoli
1/2 pound small pasta, cooked and drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh chopped, Italian flat-leaf parsley
6 cups chicken stock fresh or canned
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups navy or northern beans, canned or dried (cooked)
freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese to taste
Cook the pasta al dente´ and drain. Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, parsley and beans. Cook slowly for 30 minutes. Add cooked pasta to the mixture. Heat through and serve with grated cheese.
- Whole wheat pasta was substituted for traditional pasta.
- For gluten-free cooking, substitute rice pasta.
- Read all labels for gluten-free cooking to ensure that they are, in fact, gluten free.
- If time allows, use dried beans instead of canned and homemade chicken stock for canned.
- For vegan cooking, omit the cheese and substitute chicken stock for vegetable stock
- I like to use about ½ cup of freshly chopped parsley – it adds a great flavor
- My favorite tomato product is, of course, home-grown and freshly canned. For purchase, I like Pomi for their fresh and homemade flavor.
- When using canned beans, rinse well with cold water before adding to your favorite dishes.
- Add some cooked spinach for a little variety.
- Gather the kids in the kitchen for this one – it is so easy!
- Add a fresh garden salad for a quick and easy meal at home.
- Soups are satisfying and nutritious any time of year.
Memories of my grandfather:
I have heard this dish referred to as a peasant dish, and now I see it on the menus of some of the finest Italian restaurants. I remember my grandfather loving this soup with a loaf of fresh Italian bread and a big glass of his homemade wine. He would say to me, “you like some pasta fajoli? You like some good bread? You like a kick in the pants?” You just don’t say “no” to good food!