You will love my very easy recipe for Pasta e Fagioli. It’s so delicious most notably because of the garlic, creaminess of the white kidney beans and parmesan cheese. Its rustic looking, made with unevenly broken spaghetti, and when you eat it, it feels like a warm hug. There’s just nothing like it for me.
It seems that no matter how cool or innovative recipes nowadays can sometimes be, they just can’t stand up to the taste and comfort induced by something your mom or grandma made for you as a child. When I get one of their recipes right, it feels like an achievement! My Nonna Rosina used a few key ingredients, never anything fancy and mostly low in fat and somehow the result would be the most delicious thing ever! For me, that has always been the hardest thing to pull off. Its an art to make something so simple so delicious. My nonna is no longer with us and although my mom and aunt Lisa are great resources, I wish I could go back and watch her make these classic recipes first hand – unamended. Like her tomato sauce and meatballs, her simple salad dressing made with homemade red wine vinegar, her roasted chicken stuffed with rice and mushrooms, surrounded by braised swiss chard… She was our Jedi Master… our Dumbledore, if you will.
This recipe is totally vegetarian. We do not use pancetta or chicken broth in our P & F. You don’t have to, I promise!
When I made this recipe and was in the process of photographing the dish for this post, I went into “out of control mode”. I took a few decent shots and started eating spoonfuls of pasta, while standing, camera still in-hand…like a mental case. It was only 10AM and as I scrolled through the pictures I had taken, mouth still full, I said aloud, “yeah…yeah, they’re good”, and then proceeded to eat half of the dish in this way. It wasn’t pretty.
This recipe makes enough for 4 people – no leftovers. Gotta’ make more next time! My husband and I – both champion marathon eaters, are gonnna probably get through a lot of this at supper and then finish it off for next-day’s lunch. Can’t wait! Oh yeah, I didn’t.
Stephanie’s Pasta e Fagioli
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 cloves garlic (3 if small), finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped
- 1 small celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 Peeled tomato from a can
- 3 fresh sage leaves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups canned white kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
- 4 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 pound spaghetti
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper (optional)
In a large pot, heat up the extra-virgin olive oil on medium and saute the onion, carrot, celery, for 4 minutes, add garlic and sauté briefly. Do not brown.
Add the fresh sage and rosemary, allowing the olive oil to absorb the flavors of the herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the beans and peeled tomato and cook for a few minutes. With the back of a fork or potato masher, mash a quarter of the beans and add 1 cup water. Stir.
Break the uncooked spaghetti into pieces with your hands, about 2 inches in length, and add directly into the pot. Stir to coat, for about a minute. Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Then reduce and simmer until spaghetti is fully cooked and the consistency is thick and creamy.
Taste for salt and add if necessary.
Let rest for 10 minutes off the heat. Add the freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, and finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and fresh black pepper (optional).
Serve warm & enjoy!
This recipe was adapted from what I know of my nonna’s method and uhh….David Rocco’s recipe lol. What?! He’s awesome and legit. Its the closest I have ever gotten to my childhood favorite.