Friday, December 14, 2007

Pasta Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)

My mother calls this the perfect food. It has everything you need in it, protein, starch and vegetable. (I guess that could be argued, tomato..vegetable or fruit? I grew up with it as a veggie.) It's fast, easy and delicious. By the way, don't forget to top with grated cheese, my family favorite is
Pecorino Romano, and crushed red pepper.

I thought of my beautiful Auntie Anne (her given name ... Amedia) when I made this the other day. It was my first time making it gluten free, and I hadn't eaten pasta fagioli (we, being stock from Italian peasants pronounce it, "pasta fa-zule"). I wasn't sure that it was going to be the same. I get nervous making 'soul' food gluten free. I still want that taste connection to my past, and my heritage.

Auntie Anne passed away last spring. She was 88 years old. She was up and about and cooking 2 weeks prior to her death. Cooking was her passion. She would read cookbooks like novels, and could 'see' if a recipe would work. With her being older, I was surprised she wasn't skeptical about me eating gluten free, rather, she was fascinated by it, and completely curious. If it dealt with food, she was there. She was the one that taught me to make my own Italian sausage, fast and easy, and gluten free, since I was so nervous about going to the Italian butchers and figuring out what was gluten free. (Back when I was new to being gluten free, now I could easily have that conversation.) And I still will make the sausage the way she told me.

I wish she could taste my pasta and beans, one of her favorite meals to make, and eat. I wish she could taste and explore all the really cool things I have discovered, among them..teff and sweet sorghum flours, the oat pie crust I made, and get her ideas about Italian recipes that are gluten free. And to just sit there, after a family meal and chat about everything.

So, here is a taste of my family and heritage, spelled the way we say it.

Pasta Fazule

2 cans cannolini beans
1 can 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups elbows or small pasta, cooked al dente (I used Tinkyada)
1 chopped onion
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped or put through garlic press
1 can chicken broth, water, or reserved pasta liquid
olive oil

Cook onion and garlic in olive oil over medium to low heat. Cook until soft, not browned. Add tomatoes, beans with liquid, and chicken broth or water to thin to desired consistency. Simmer 20 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and basil to taste. Add pasta.

Don't for get to top with grated cheese and crushed red pepper.
This gets better the day after, but don't forget, the pasta will absorb a bunch of the liquid, don't be surprised.
And, big tip here in Italian cooking, a lot of the time we use the cooking liquid in the pasta to thin the sauce to the right consistency. It adds a whole heck of a lot more than just water.



kbabe1968 said...

MMMMMM...boy now that just looks really yummy. Especially in this cold chilly northeaster weather, huh? I may just have to make this soon! I loves soups/stews this time of year.

kbabe1968 said...

So...forgot to mention I cried at the story of your Aunt. :( What a great way to remember her, though.

Karina said...

What a lovely tribute to your aunt. She would be so proud of you, Bella!


Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Kbabe - This is just delicious..very soul satisfying. Sorry you cried, but I did too when I wrote it. :)

Karina - Thank you!
xoxox SM

Jeena said...

Hi there you have a lovely food blog. I love your recipes they look delicious. Feel free to check out my gluten free xmas cake recipe, here is the link..
Click here for gluten free christmas cake recipe
You really don't realise how much gluten goes into food until you experience someone with celiac. Sharing recipes with each other makes it so much easier doesn't it.

Great blog! Jeena :-)

Jeena said...

Hey by the way if you would like to exchange links let me know I think you have a great blog. :)

Sheltie Girl said...

Lovely job on the pasta fagioli.

Happy Holidays!

Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

Melissa said...

Love the story about your aunt. Very sweet tribute. And the pasta fagioli sounds like a perfect cold-weather comfort food. Better than mac and cheese! Cannolini beans are my favorite. Plus, this recipe seems like a good start to lots of variations. Thanks!

Rose said...

What a lovely way to remember your aunt. The fagioli looks wonderful - I can almost smell it cooking from the picture.

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Jeena - Thanks for stopping by and sharing; I will check out your blog when I get a chance!

Sheltie Girl - Thank you! ;)

Melissa - This is a great jumping off point, and it's very forgiving. I think most simple recipes are. Thank you. :)

Rose - Thanks for commenting, and I hope for first gluten free Christmas went well!

Pam said...

I just had to stop by and tell you that I made the cinnamon roll recipe for Christmas morning and it was FABULOUS!!! I had to double the recipe just to have enough for everyone because they were soooo good. I made them Christmas Eve and then popped them into the oven while we were opening presents and they were hot and ready to eat when we were done. I made a cream cheese glaze of cream cheese, milk and powdered sugar to frost them with (I know, like they needed to be sweeter??? - but it was Christmas after all!) and there was no way you would ever know they were gluten free. Thanks for a wonderful recipe that will be a Christmas tradition from now on:)

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Pam -
I am so glad you enjoyed them! It makes me so happy to know we an all keep some food traditions alive and well. I really appreciate your comment, and hope you have a wonderful day!

Jess said...

We had this last week and we loved it. It just lasted and lasted for my husband's lunch too.

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Thank you so much for the feedback! I am so glad you have enjoyed it. My husband loves taking it for lunch too, if I let him!

carpet cleaners said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rumela said...

Thanks for the Pasta fazule recipe. Last summer I ate them at a party and has been looking for an authentic recipe ever since. Now I will be able to make them myself. Thanks again.

Get email alert when there is a new post.

Enter your email address: