Pasta e Fagioli For the Soul

When the moon hits your eye
Like a big-a pizza pie
That’s amore

When the stars make you drool
Joost-a like PASTA FAZOOL
That’s amore

Whether you’re Italian or not, everyone remembers Dean Martin’s enthusiastic crooning of this song, and I bet a lot of you can sing the chorus. When he mentioned Pasta Fazool in the song, he was referring to one of my family’s favorite dishes—it’s rustic, delicious, healthy and easy to make.

Dean Martin took creative license when singing fazool, and it worked beautifully for the song. The real pronunciation for this dish isfah-joe-lee.

Sharing my interpretation of this popular Italian dish.

 

This soup can be made and eaten the same day, but it tastes even better if you make it a day ahead of time and serve it the next day, as all the ingredients and goodness marinate together.

Ingredients:

olive oil

5 chopped tomatoes (or a can of plum tomatoes)

1 cup onion (finely chopped)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

6 cups beef broth (or vegetable stock)

1 can red kidney beans (drained and well rinsed)

1 can white kidney beans (drained and well rinsed)

1 can chick peas (drained and well rinsed)

½ cup fresh basil (chopped)

**3 cups meatballs (use your favorite meatball recipe and make them tiny bite sized)

Pinch red pepper flakes, optional

Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Pasta (your choice: penne, elbow, tubetti)

**Note: If you don’t want to make meatballs, you can use ground beef, or skip the meat all together.

  • Coat soup pot with olive oil and heat oil on medium. Once oil is heated, add onion and cook until onion is transparent, then add garlic and keep stirring until garlic is infused with the onion.
  • Add tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring.
  • Add broth and let cook (uncovered) for 45 minutes.
  • Add red beans, white beans, chick peas, meatballs or sauteed ground beef if you are using meat, and let cook for 15 minutes
  • In a separate pot, boil water and make pasta according to packagae directions
  • While the pasta is cooking, add the chopped basil, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste and let the soup keep cooking.
  • Once pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the soup pot.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil just before serving.

Note: If making soup the day ahead, then don’t add any pasta, make the pasta the day you will be serving the soup.

Buon appetito!

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