Pasta and Beans, or “Pasta e fagioli“, is a traditional Italian peasant dish of which there are different regional variations, but this one is from the Veneto region. It is an easy and cheap recipe made just with two main ingredients, precisely pasta and beans. I’m very fond of this recipe as it is one of those I inherited from my mother-in-law and I prepare for my husband when he wants to feel at home and he wants to eat something other than Apulian dishes… he is from the Veneto region, by the way!
Last time we ate Pasta and Beans, we uncorked a bottle of Amarone della Valopolicella 2014 DOCG “Sopra Sasso”, thanks to Vinimondo.dk. This robust wine, with dark cherry notes, made our dinner even more sublime.
INGREDIENTS for 4 servings:
500 g dry borlotti beans or red kidney beans (2 cans of beans)
100 g fresh pasta tagliatelle
½ onion, finely chopped
1/2 stalk celery, sliced
1/2 carrot peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
If you decide to use the dry beans, soak them in plenty of warm water for 12 hours. Drain and put them in a deep pot, pour some cold water till the beans are totally covered. Bring to a boil, cover with lid and let them cook until soft (around 1 hour and half) over low heat.
If you decide to use canned beans instead of dry beans, start from here.
In a heavy pot, put 2 tbsp of olive oil and add onion, celery and carrot. Add salt to taste. Turn the stove on and saute’ the vegetables over medium heat until softened (for about 5-10 minutes), while stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the beans with their cooking water (or add 2 ladles of water if you use the canned beans) and let cook for about 20 min.
Take two/three ladles of beans from the pot and blend them. Then put the blended beans back in the pot. Add approximately two ladles of hot water. When the beans start simmering, snap the pasta in 2 or 3 parts and pour into the pot.
Cook for about 5 minutes and stir often to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Add some hot water if needed. Check the seasoning and make sure that the pasta is cooked. Switch off the heat, cover with a lid and let rest for a few minutes.
Pour the pasta e fagioli into soup plates. Drizzle a little of olive oil and season with freshly ground Parmesan and pepper.
Francesca & Marinella