Thursday, November 10, 2011

When The Stars Make You Drool Just Like Pasta Fazool, That's Amore!

Last night Ed made dinner. He used a recipe for a dish my Nanny (grandmother, not glorified babysitter) made from my childhood, and one that was passed on to every woman in my family; all my aunts make this dish, almost exactly the same way.

We call it Pasta Fazool. Most Italian-Americans, especially from the east coast, will know exactly what this is. "Fagioli" means "beans" in Italian and although a lot of people know the dish by its official Italian name, Pasta e Fagioli or Pasta Fagioli, you won't have trouble finding too many people who say no to a dish of "Pasta Fazool". Sometimes you'll see Pasta Fagioli on a menu prepared more like a soup, but I like making it a little thicker and not as soupy.

The dish is made with five ingredients. You can't get easier than that. Here's what I used (notice my San Marzano tomatoes from Wegmans - my favorite grocery store, found primarily in the Northeast). You begin by coating the bottom of the pan with olive oil and tossing in your diced onion. I like using a red onion, I think it has a nice sweet flavor. Sauté them until they're nice and translucent, even getting a few of them brown. The more they cook, the sweeter they become.

Once they're nice and cooked, dump in your can of tomatoes. I pour the juice from the tomatoes in first and then use my hands to crush up the whole tomatoes into small pieces. I usually make this with a can of tomato paste (and three cans of water) like my Nanny did, but I didn't have paste, so I used the whole tomatoes. I keep saying "I", but Ed was actually the one doing all the work - I just instructed. Here, you'll see the sauce all mixed together, before the beans were poured in.

Let the sauce cook while you're boiling the pasta water. Once the water is done, dump your pasta in the water pot and then dump the can of kidney beans into your sauce. I like to use the juice in the can too, because it has starch and makes the sauce a little thicker. By the time the pasta is done cooking - about twelve minutes - your sauce will be ready.

Ed wanted a little spice, so he sprinkled a pinch of red pepper flakes into the sauce. I have to say, it was pretty damn good. He also made garlic bread - something I never had growing up, but which he always has to have with meals like this. It was a great addition to the meal.

Spoon your beautiful concoction into a dish and sprinkle with grated cheese - my favorite is Locatelli Pecorino-Romano. Look how beautiful this is. Enjoy!!
Click HERE to get the recipe to print out.


Gil said...

Is this from Naples or Sicily or just your Granny's version? My Mother used to make it more like a soup and used odd leftover pieces of macaroni. I remember reading on some other blog that in Naples there is hardly any liquid in Pasta Fazool. Now I'm getting hungry, although I ate plenty at a Greek Festival held by the Greek Church in New London, CT!

Marlaina said...

Love the new self-portrait Lady Fazool!

Click here for Glendale Moving Company said...

I'll need a trip to the store before I make this one, but I'll put it on the list.