Looking for a hearty dish to make for dinner? If you live in the two thirds of our country that’s in a deep freeze right now, I’m quite sure you are! With these frigid temperatures and snowstorms that are plaguing most of our country, we need a meal that warms our hearts, souls, and bodies. My hearty pasta and beans is just that meal.
My husband adores this dish, especially on a cold evening with a hunk of crusty Italian bread and a glass of red wine. However, he refuses to call it “pasta e fagioli.” Please do check the blog archives for what he considers traditional pasta e fagioli. I blogged his recipe years ago. It is absolutely delicious. I love it when he makes it, but I also love my pasta e fagioli. They are different, and both delicious. No one has ever turned down a dish of either.
It does make me laugh when we confront each other in the kitchen to decide(argue) who’s recipe will we use on any particular night. I want it my way, and he wants it his way. You would think that a 50/50 compromise would settle it. Actually, I let him make it his way 75% of the time. He feels triumphant, and I get a delicious homemade meal without doing the cooking. I just have a glass of white wine and watch. What could be better?
I hope you’ll try both recipes……and stay warm!
Recipe: serves 4
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped finely
2 celery stalks, chopped finely
2 Tablespoons tomato paste or 1/3 cup leftover marinara sauce
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp. crushed red pepper or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
fresh sage leaves (optional, but oh so wonderful), roughly chopped and for garnish
8 to 12 ounces of chicken or vegetable broth or bouillon
1 29 ounce can of white cannelloni beans (I sometimes add another small can of beans)
1 pound mezze rigatoni or the calamari shape pasta
Grated pecorino romano cheese for passing
- Bring a pasta pot of salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pot. Add the chopped garlic, celery and carrots (I throw them all in a food processor and chop finely). Saute until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chopped sage and red pepper and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce or paste and stir until combined, about 2 minutes.
- Add all the beans and the broth, and let cook for 10 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally to combine flavors. Season with salt and pepper.
- With a slotted spoon, take 1 1/2 to 2 cups of beans out of the pot and puree until just smooth. Return to the pot and cook for 5 minutes.
- When the pasta is cooking, add 1 cup of the pasta water to the beans. You can also add more broth if you feel you need it . Reserve another cup of the water.
- Drain pasta when done and add to pot. Add more water if necessary.
- Serve with lots of grated pecorino romano cheese and garnish with sage.