Sometimes you don’t have time to make it to the grocery store; sometimes the weather is terrible and you don’t want to leave the house. Sometimes you just want to throw something together with what you have on hand, and have it be even more delicious than ordering delivery. There are always a few ingredients that should be hanging out in your pantry: dried pasta, tomato paste, a can of beans, a few stray cloves of garlic, bullion cubes and salt and pepper. That’s all you need to make the heartiest bowl of pasta in the world. Pasta e Fagiole is just pasta and beans – so simple but so delicious. Growing up my Nonna would make this for me on the coldest days of winter when we didn’t want to leave the house to get groceries, and when I needed something in a pinch to warm me from the inside out.
Pasta e Fagiole is the easiest thing to pull together – you don’t even need a second pot to boil the pasta in before adding it to the sauce – everything is cooked in the same pot making for an easy prep and easy clean up. It starts just like any other base would, a few minced cloves of garlic cooked in olive oil, a tablespoon of tomato paste, salt & pepper – but the real fun comes when you add in a can of beans, some small pasta like ditalini and cover it all in broth then let simmer until the pasta is cooked through. That’s it, that’s all! The pasta and the beans cook together, and the starch released from the pasta mixes with the beans to create this creamy sauce. A handful of ingredients you probably already have on hand come together in about 20 minutes from start to finish to make a healthy, hearty bowl perfect for any occasion.
Pasta e Fagiole (Pasta and Beans)
*Serves 2 – 3
- 1 can beans (chickpeas, white beans, romano – whatever you have on hand works)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- ¾ cup dried ditalini pasta
- 2-3 cups water
- salt & pepper
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a shallow pot over medium heat and add the minced garlic. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant, add salt and pepper and the tomato paste. Cook until tomato paste is dark red and caramelized. Add the bouillon cube and break up into mixture.
Take ¼ of the can of beans and add to a bowl. Mash with a fork until smooth, then add to the pot. Add 2 cups of water and mix until smooth. Add pasta and remaining beans and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add more water if it’s cooked down too much.
Serve with fresh ground pepper & grated pecorino cheese.
Aleshia Pinto is a food blogger and carb enthusiast, who creates recipes aimed at bringing people together. Her blog, less with bread, is a collection of traditional and non traditional Italian recipes inspired by the seasons and current cravings. On any given day, she can be found planning her next dinner series or daydreaming about pasta!
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