Friday, March 26, 2010

Pasta e Fagoli Basilicata (Pasta and Beans Basilicata)

Pasta e Fagoli Basilicata
(Pasta and Beans Basilicata)
serves 4
“Pasta and beans, you can’t do that . . . it's two starches!” that’s what my new bride (Jo) said when I first told her about this Italian specialty . . . today she looks forward to it.  She enjoyed it so much that she would ask my mom (Susie) to make it all the time, including in the summer time, to which my mom would tell her “We can’t, Pasta e Fagoli is a winter dish!” . . . sorry mom we enjoy it year round.  This is our family version, no tomatoes, just a yummy sauce made of extra-virgin olive oil and the “juice” from the Cannellini beans.  It's a cross between a pasta dish and a soup.
1/4-cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, finely diced, about 1/4-inch
1 onion, finely diced, about 1/4-inch
1 rib celery, finely diced, about 1/4-inch
3 cloves garlic, micro-planed
2-tablespoons parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 - 15 1/2 ounce cans of cannellini beans, liquid reserved
1-pound Maccheroncelli or Ditalini pasta (small tube shaped macaroni)
1.  In a large pasta pot bring a large volume of salted water to a rapid boil over high heat.  When the water comes to a roiling boil toss in the pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente.  Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid before draining the pasta through a colander.
2.  While the pasta is cooking and in a separate 3 quart pot (large enough to accommodate both the pasta and the beans and sauce you are preparing), heat the oil over medium heat. Add the diced carrot, diced onion, diced celery, the garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and cook over medium heat until the vegetables become tender.
3.  While the vegetables are sautéing, fill the empty cans with water and stir the water around so it can absorb any of the thick cannellini liquid clinging to the inside of the cans.  Set the liquid filled cans aside.
4.  Add the reserved cannellini liquid, the water from the cans, and the bay leaf.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.
5.  Add the beans and the al dente pasta while gently stirring to evenly distribute both. Lower the heat to simmer and simmer the Pasta e Fagoli for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding some of the reserved pasta cooking liquid if the sauce is too "tight".
6.  Adjust seasoning with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.   Serve immediately either "family style" in one pasta bowl OR divided evenly among warmed, individual pasta bowls and accompanied by additional extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle, red pepper flakes, and crusty Italian or French bread to "mop up" the fagoli "juice".

Next Week's Posting: Conchiglie con Piselli, Panna, e Menta (Shells with Peas, Cream, and Mint) 


the mama monster said...

hi there. i found your blog through tasty kitchen. i just had to let you know that my dad is also an italian from new york who now lives in utah! i can't wait to pass on your blog to him. i'm going to make your shrimp tacos one night this week. thanks for the awesom recipes, i'll be following your blog.

calou said...

Thanks for your comment! We New York Italians get around, where in Utah is your dad? When you try the tacos don't forget my wife's Cilantro and Lime sauce (Jo's Cilantro and Lime sauce), I think it makes the recipe! Buon Appetito!

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