Pasta e Fagioli…

February 23rd, 2010

Certain recipes bring up memories… this one brings up two (well, now three)…

The first time I had Pasta e Fagioli, I was in Rome. One of my father’s colleagues lived there and she met me for lunch one day. We went to a small trattoria off the piazza near the Pantheon. It was small place… She ordered for us… a classic Roman meal… starting with pasta e fagioli… it was delicious! Something I would have never chosen myself and I loved it. I tried to go to the trattoria a couple other times during my time in Rome but… it was never open again… one of those little places that only the locals know when it is open…

The second time, my co-worker called me… “My mom gave me some pasta fazool, I’m coming over!”… As the two Italians in the office, we bonded quickly and became really good friends… her mom’s was also delicious… sprinkled with a lot of parm… we sat around eating and sipping wine…

For Christmas, my mother (a.k.a. Santa) gave me Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. Flipping through it, I saw her Pasta e Fagioli recipe and decided to give it a shot. I made this for our New Year’s Eve dinner… Juan’s sister doesn’t eat meat so I made it meat-free… it was great… I’m sending it over to My Legume Love Affair #20 started by the Well-Seasoned Cook.  Check out the round-up.

Pasta e Fagioli
(recipe from here)

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
3 tablespoons chopped carrot
3 tablespoons chopped celery
2/3 cup plum tomato, chopped with juices
1 cup dried cranberry beans, soaked and cooked
3 cups (closer to 4) vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper
1/2 pound tublar macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoons parm

1. Put the olive oil in a large stock pot, cook the onions until tender at medium heat.
2. Add the carrot and celery, cooking for about ten minutes.
3. Add the cut-up tomatoes with juices and bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Add the beans and stir for about 5 minutes.
5. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
6. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
7. If there is a lot of broth, then cook the pasta in it. If not, add more broth and bring to a boil. Cook until the pasta is tender. (I did not add anymore broth and it was less on the soupy side but still delicious. I would probably cook the pasta separately).
8. Serve with parm.


December 23rd, 2009

Post exams… as I was sitting around brain dead (well, I’m still quite brain dead but recovering)… I started cooking… so get excited… many yummy posts to come… this recipe is my go to feed an army meal… it is easy, delicious, and versatile… Sometimes I add the shrimp… this time I kept things simple and halved the recipe, which was still enough for four people with leftovers.  I served it with some bread and salad.

Linguine with Feta- Tomato Sauce
(adapted from here)
* 1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced
* 2 pounds tomatoes
* 4 teaspoons dried basil
* 4 teaspoons dried parsley
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional)
* 1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
* 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 pound linguine

In a frying pan, sprayed with Pam, sauté mushrooms until tender, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic, and red pepper, if desired; stir until heated through. Mix in both cheeses.

Meanwhile, cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Return to pot. Add 1 tablespoon oil; toss to coat. Add mushroom-tomato mixture to pasta; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer linguine to large bowl.

The Thanksgiving Feast!

November 27th, 2009

My friends and I served up quite the thanksgiving feast…

We made sure to cover all our traditional favorites…

Chicken (or Turkey) and Dressing Casserole

My Mom’s Stuffing

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Green Bean Casserole

Sweet Potatoes (recipe coming)

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Cranberry Sauce

Pumpkin Crunch

Pecan Pie

Chocolate Chess Pie

My Mom’s Stuffing
Melt about 1/2 stick margarine or butter in frying pan. Chop one large onion and about 4 to five large stalks of celery. Saute. Sprinkle with leaf thyme (Mom does this until it smells right- I used about 2 teaspoons). now the fun part: Using about 8 slices of white bread (wonder type) Put it in the colander and run tap water over it and squish it up with your hands. Then add to the frying pan and stir it around to mix the onions/celery. Now I stuff the turkey but you could do as I said above. Probably use about a cup of broth and then bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. You probably should cover it loosely with foil so it doesn’t dry out.