Friday, February 2, 2007

Pasta e Fagioli

Adapted from Eat This...It’ll Make You Feel Better by Dom Deluise

Serves 2

When I was in school, I made this all the time. It tasted good, was cheap and easy, and I had a couple of vegetarian friends who sometimes ate with me, and it’s vegetarian too. This is from a fun cookbook. I can’t say it’s one of my absolute favorites, but if you look it up on Amazon, you will see twenty reviews, each one with 5 stars. It’s not the cooking of people who live in Italy, but it is the cooking of Italian-American immigrants, so those of us who are second - or in my case third - generation Italian-Americans will recognize this food. Marcella Hazan would not. This cookbook has a lot of vegetarian recipes in it, and that’s because we were stuck for so many years with meatless Fridays. I think Olivia will like this since she’s in school now, and this is a quick, healthy feed. Walter Jones will like it too.

2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce (don’t get fancy; this is better than tomatoes here)
1 cup water
1 large can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (most people I know prefer Goya over Progresso, but use your favorite)
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
Grated cheese – parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino-romano or a mixture of the two

Cook macaroni al dente and set aside. Put the oil in a saucepan, add the garlic, turn on the heat and cook the garlic gently in the oil until just starting to color. Add the tomato sauce. Fill the tomato sauce can with water, and add it tothe tomato sauce in the pan. Cook this or 10 minutes. Add the beans, stir gently, and simmer on a low flame for 10 minutes more.

Add cooked pasta to the pan. Stir gently. (If it gets too thick, add a little more water – but I don’t usually have this problem.) Turn off the head, and add chopped parsley. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Serve immediately or else the pasta will absorb the liquid.


  1. Hi Vic:
    Just discovered your blog, which is very enjoyable and has great and very classic recipes.
    Since you are such a fan of the late Marcella Hazan (as am I), I am surprised you haven't included her recipe for pasta e fagiole, which to me is absolutely the best recipe for this dish. My 9 year old daughter, who is a very picky eater, told me she would eat Marcella's pasta e fagiole every day of the week if she could.
    Keep up the great work.

    1. Dear Frank,

      Thanks for your nice comments. I am going to check out the recipe immediately and appreciate your passing it along! Vic