Pasta e Fagioli


This is one of the most typical italian dishes. One of the region were it’s most popular is Tuscany, were I proudly come from!
This dish was actually prepared for an “international lunch”, that we had last Sunday. As some of you might know, I work in a London based architectural office, and my colleagues come from different contries: Italy (just me, actually), Spain, Germany, UK of course, India. We have been speaking about this international atmoshpere for a while, and we came up with this idea: each of us would bring a dish, typical of his/her country, to enjoy with the others during a very relaxed Sunday.
BTW, it’s a very simple and basic dish, poor I would say, but very tasty and after all easy to prepare; especially if you use canned borlotti beans. I decided to prepare them by myself though, as I wanted to follow a procedure (very easy) to eliminate as far as possible the problems with the ehm… gas.

(serves 4)
1 clove of garlic
1/2 litre of vegetable broth
1 carrot
1 onion
400 gr of borlotti beans (weight refers to boiled boeans)
1/4 glass of extra virgin olive oil
320 gr of pasta (to your choice, but it should be short)
100 gr of tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 stalk of celery

First of all, I soaked borlotti beans for 24 hrs. The tricks I used to reduce the gas (and I have to say, it did work) were: change the soaking water at least 3 times and soak the beans with 2/3 bay leaves. Also, discard the soaking water: use new fresh waterto boil the beans. That’s it.
Anyway, cook the beans. You may want to add other herbs such as sage (I did), rosemary, but also carrots, celery, onion… I mean, it really depends on you.
When you’re ready to prepare the dish itself, the first thing to do is to prepare the vegetable broth, which you’ll need later.
Chop very finely onion, garlic, carrot and celery; actually you could use a food processor.
Place them in a pot with a bit of oil and let them get golden.
Then add tomatoes, chopped, and when they start getting very soft add two ladles of veg broth and let them cook for 5-10 min.

Now, purée half of the beans: this will give the dish a very creamy texture (and actually… the bean puré is sooo good!). Add the beans (whole and puréed) and two ladles of broth. Let the beans absorb all the liquid.

Cook your favourite pasta in salted water, drain and add it to the soup. Pasta shouldn’t be completely done when you add it to the soup, as you should keep cooking pasta and beans together for a few minutes, so that the pasta gets well flavoured. Once done, add a sprinkling of pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Let it rest for a minute and serve it still hot.

This dish can be served as a soup or as a pasta, it really depends on your tastes; therefore the quantity of broth you may want to add while cooking it’s up to you. I decided to serve it as a pasta, and my friends really enjoyed it!
Here it is a pic of the table full of internationa goodnesses!
Vegan samosas, potatoes with indian spices, spanish red peppers, spanish bruschettas with tomatoes, sangria, pasta with pesto (not vegan though); wrapped in aluminium, chickpea masala and sheperd’s pie (vegan version!)
Actually, my “Pasta e Fagioli” was too much (each of us had prepared too much stuff, really, and we all had leftovers!) and I brought home half a pot of it… I put everything in the freezer, I’ll recycle it as soon as I get inspired :-)… stay tuned then!
See you soon!

  1. Cassandra78 25 February 2011 at 14:40

    Looks so yummy! I’me sure your friends enjoyed it a lot. And now you’ve got plenty of it at home!

  2. Felicia 25 February 2011 at 21:09

    Very good! thanks for the advice and the detailed description of the recipe!! Beautiful table for an evening in peace and amornia 🙂

  3. EleonoraNW3 25 February 2011 at 21:33

    Thanks Felicia! We really enjoyed our lunch together, it was a great atmpshere… I consider myself so lucky to have such nice and caring colleagues. It’s nice also since nobody criticizes me, ever, for my choices – and I think this is just great

  4. ascanio 25 February 2011 at 22:45

    Looks delicious! I guess you had a great fun last Sunday, that table looks terrific

  5. heidi 27 February 2011 at 20:20

    yummy! I very much ike the idea of pureéing beans, the sauce must be come out ver creamy

  6. Titti 4 March 2011 at 00:10

    Yummy! I love pasta e fagioli!

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