Depending on the dialect of Italian being used, the word fagioli can even be pronounced “va-zu-l” in Sicilian. A 1927 song by Van and Schenck capitalizes on this latter pronunciation in the rhyme, “Don’t be a fool, eat pasta fazool.” And then there is the more recently famous Dean Martin song “That’s Amore”. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to feel or be in love…even if it is with a bit of bean soup. When love is on the menu, the line is long. >sings to herself, the excerpt below<
When the stars make you drool
Joost-a like pasta fazool
When you dance down the street
With a cloud at your feet, you’re in love
When you walk in a dream
But you know you’re not dreamin’, signore
‘Scusami, but you see
Back in old Napoli, that’s amore
(When the moon hits your eye)
(Like a big-a pizza pie, that’s amore)
Attempting to dig back into this blog after a brief bout away I am in dire need of comfort and comfort foods. And this week the cravings were meatless yet hearty. Pasta fagioli or pasta e fagioli, meaning “pasta and beans”, is one of many traditional Italian peasant dishes that was widely available in all regions of Italy due to cheaply available beans and pasta. This recipe should be added to your files under -will keep you warm on a cold winter’s night.
Pasta e Fagioli
4 TBS olive oil, and 2 TBS olive oil
1 1/2 medium size yellow onion, finely chopped
7 cloves garlic, pressed hold 1 clove off to the side
3 cups dried cranberry beans (if rushed buy 3-15 oz cans)
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 sprigs rosemary
2 TBS fresh parsley, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
salt & pepper to taste
7-8 oz tubetti or small pasta
Parmesan cheese, grated
In a large pot add 4 TBS olive oil, onions and garlic, salt and pepper and cook on medium-low heat until onions are translucent. Add in tomato paste and coat pan without allowing the paste to burn.
If using dried beans, place broth and beans in the same pot and bring to a rapid bowl, lid slightly off, for 40 minutes. Reduce heat, add in rosemary, salt, pepper and parsley, basil and oregano. Place lid on pot and turn heat to simmer for 1 1/2 hrs, checking after one hour to see if more water should be added to create sufficient broth.
If using canned beans, place broth and beans in the same pot and bring to a rapid bowl, lid slightly off, for 30 minutes. Reduce heat, add in rosemary, salt, pepper and parsley, basil and oregano. Place lid on pot and turn heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
In a medium size pot with a cap full of oil, bring water to a boil. Once boiling add in 1 TBS of salt and then add in the tubettini or other pasta. Cook according to package directions, drain and set aside.
In a small sauce pan add 3 TBS oil, 1 clove garlic, minced. Cook over a low heat until soft and then stir in rosemary which has been finely chopped. Add this mixture back into the soup.
To thicken soup you can either use a stick blender and puree 1/3 of the soup to gain a nice thickness or you can remove two cups of the beans and smash them in a mug with a fork and then return them to the pot, stirring well.
To serve, place drained pasta in an individual serving bowl, cover with pasta fazool then top with cheese, dash of olive oil and a spot of pesto. That’s Amore.