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Monday, March 1, 2010

Comfort Food for Italians - Pasta Fagioli

Comfort Food for Italians -- Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli was Mom's Friday super! As a young girl, I remember my mom rushing in from work or grocery shopping and in minutes she would miraculously put together a wonderful meal just before my father came home from work. Even though it always tasted great to me my mother would always say -- I should have made it "last night"! According, to my mom "pasta fagiolio always tastes better the next day." So take mom's advice -- make it tonight for tomorrow!

Ingredients:

1.5 Tbs Olive Oil
3-4 Garlic Cloves
5 small hot pepper rings
1/2 can tomato paste
1/2 lb Ditalini
2 15 oz cans Cannellini Beans
6 cups water

In a 6 quart sauce pan add sliced garlic cloves to the olive oil and saute until lightly brown - be care not to burn. Add hot pepper rings and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add 1/2 can tomato paste and 1 Tbs of water saute for another 8 minutes. Remove garlic.

Add 6 cups of water (or use 4 cups water and 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth) and bring to a boil. Add 1/2 lbs of Ditalini and cook for approximately 15 minutes - until pasta is al dente.
Add the 2 cans of Cannellini Beans and bring to a boil again. Then simmer for another 5 - 7 minutes until the flavors blend. Serve immediately with grated cheese.

Remember: if you make it the night before, let the pan cool before placing it in the refrigerator - but do not cover.
Or, make the pasta fagioli earlier in the day and let it cool on the stove - uncovered - . The liquid will evaporate and the soup will be very thick adjust the liquid by adding another cup or two of water as needed as you reheat.

Writing from Providence with Mom - 3/1/2010