Pasta, Pizza, Risotto, Soups, Stews and Sandwiches, Vegan, Vegetarian

Auntie Rosaria’s Pasta e Fagioli (La Pasta e Fagioli di zia Rosaria)

Nicoletta October 3, 2017

Auntie Rosaria’s Pasta e Fagioli (La pasta e Fagioli di zia Rosaria), a bowl of wonderful memories and distinct hearty Italian flavors, that will comfort and warm the hearts of any of those who try it.

Song of the day: “You don’t know how it feels” by Tom Petty. Sadly, we’ve lost another great artist, what a concert they might be having somewhere up there…!

Pasta e fagioli

[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]

The food I cook, bake or eat, is always connected to a story, memory, or feeling. It is able to transport me back to a time and place, sometimes bringing me joy, other times filling me with longing and melancholy. It is never “just food”. It is a piece of my life, a piece of my heart.

 

 

I haven’t been a voracious kid, or those kids that like most things that are put in front of them. On the contrary, my appetite was always little and not many were the foods that gave me joy when eating them. Even growing up, the foods I didn’t like, and consequently did not eat, were way more numerous than the foods I liked. My favorite quote was: I eat to live, not live to eat. And if there was another way other than eating to get me some sustenance, I would have gladly embraced it. For this reason, around me, there was always a network of loving people ready to do the impossible to make me eat. Which wasn’t really impossible, it just consisted, mainly, in making my favorite dishes every time I was present.

I am aware I might have been spoiled, because this did not stop at my childhood, or teenage years, but has been the norm through the years, to until just a few months ago, when my aunt Rosaria, my mother’s sister and favorite aunt (let’s hope my other aunts won’t read this post 😉 ) made this Pasta e Fagioli specifically for me for a lunch she hosted one day when we were visiting them in Italy during our summer vacation. She knew that she would make me happy with this dish and even if I might not like the other things on the menu, at least I could eat a good plate of Pasta e Fagioli. 

Pasta e fagioliPasta e fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli smells and tastes like family, it is warm and fuzzy like an aunt’s embrace.

You can ask Loreto the scream of joy I let go of when I saw fresh Romano beans at the Italian Centre Shop, last week! I couldn’t believe my eyes, my favorite beans, the beans I associate with my favorite Italian soup, favorite aunt and all the memories attached to it! I took pictures, shared it on social media, had my aunt on speed dial giving me her recipe. Recipe that I affectionately share with you, for the best, traditional, tasty, Pasta e Fagioli you’ll ever eat.

The fagioli, beanstakes some skill in shucking them out of that colorful shell. I usually break the seal between the front and back shells, then run my finger just under the beans inside, releasing them into a bowl. This is great while you are watching a favorite TV show or just relaxing on the couch. In no time you will have a bowl of these marbelized beauties just waiting to be used in this lovely pasta e fagioli dish.

To any good soup, there is always a good foundation, and carrots, onions, and celery fit that bill very well. The beans and mirepoix are cooked together in water to a wonderful soft texture. The next step is crucial in releasing the wonderful flavor and texture of the bean soup that will coat the pasta and elevate it to new heights. We use a food mill, round and round it goes giving us the cream of the crop and the unwanted left behind. You could use a food processor too and I would suggest cutting up the carrots, celery, to make sure it blends well and also to get rid of any celery strings and things you don’t want. Oh, remember to reserve some of the whole beans, this will give a great contrast in texture and flavor. The whole beans will be added to the pureed beans in the cooking water where the pasta will cook.  Tip: If you find that the water has reduced too much, add some more before cooking the pasta in or cook the pasta separately in another pot of salted boiling water and then add it to the bean mixture.

You are left with this aromatic velvety texture of a mixture where the pasta will cook in till nice and al dente. In a saute pan you have some garlic, e.v.o. oil, and fresh rosemary sprig that you are going to saute to get all those spices and flavors intensified, and when done into the pasta it goes to release all its wonderful flavor.

Pasta e fagioliPasta e fagioli

Always garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a nice drizzle of good quality pure olive oil.

Tutti a tavola a mangiare! (Everyone to the table to eat)! Don’t be late or you will have an Italian mom, aunt, or nonna ready to strike. How many times I’ve eaten this Pasta e Fagioli you won’t believe, and if I knew it was on the menu, I was never late!

pasta e fagioli

The aroma that is coming off this plate is amazing. The rosemary with its pine-like aroma marries so well with anything starchy, just heavenly. It just gets the taste buds going. The good quality olive oil providing a nice silky touch to the mix, and that wonderful thick broth with the flavors of the mirepoix dancing brilliantly with the Romano beans,  so luxurious and creamy. The first spoonful has my tongue in pure delight as the taste comes through. So comforting and heartwarming. That broth so rich in flavor and texture. The Ditali Rigati pasta, al dente, and with its corrugated texture beautifully holding the flavors of the broth and spices. I love the way the rosemary subtly comes in with that hint of earthy spice beckoning you into a second, third, and so on spoonful.

Enjoy your plate of Pasta e Fagioli and be transported right to the Italian countryside!

Song of the day: “You don’t know how it feels” by Tom Petty.  Sadly, we’ve lost another great artist, what a concert they might be having somewhere up there…!

Auntie Rosaria’s Pasta e Fagioli (La Pasta e Fagioli di zia Rosaria)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Serving Size: 3-4 servings

Auntie Rosaria’s Pasta e Fagioli (La Pasta e Fagioli di zia Rosaria)

Ingredients

  • 400 g (2 cups) fresh Romano beans
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 small shallot or onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot (about 60 g), chopped
  • 1 medium ripe tomato, chopped
  • 8 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
  • 180-200 g pasta (ditali rigati)

Instructions

  1. Shuck and rinse the Romano beans.
  2. Add the beans and the chopped celery, shallot (or onion), carrot, tomato to a pot.
  3. Add water and set on the stove on medium heat to cook for about 40 minutes or until beans are tender.
  4. After that time, turn off the heat, scoop half of the beans and pass them with the vegetables through a food mill. Leave the other half of the beans whole, for some texture.
  5. Put the puree back in the pot with the cooking water and the whole beans, adjust with salt and a pinch of pepper and bring to a boil on medium heat.
  6. While you wait for it to boil, saute the garlic and rosemary in a little pan with the evo oil, just enough to infuse the oil. Turn it off and set aside.
  7. When the beans are boiling, add the pasta and cook according to time on the package.
  8. When the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat, add the infused oil, and stir.
  9. Serve warm with a drizzle of e.v.o. oil and black pepper.

Notes

When fresh beans have run out, the dried, tinned or jarred variety work just as well. If you use the dried ones, add the soaking overnight to the prep time. If you're using the tinned or jarred variety, reduce the cooking time considerably. If you find that the water has reduced too much, add some more before cooking the pasta in or cook the pasta separately in a another pot of salted boiling water and then add it to the bean mixture.

Pasta e fagioli

[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]

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16 Comments

  • Reply thefoodblognet October 4, 2017 at 9:22 am

    This does indeed, look luxurious and creamy, and I just want to dig in. Hard to believe, with all of your gorgeous recipes, that you weren’t a foodie kid! Thanks for sharing this, I have to try it 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 4, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Thank you!! For me there is nothing better than a plate of good Pasta e Fagioli. But I might be biased 🙂 . I now, how things have changed since then (although the foods that I don’t like or eat are still a lot!) 🙂

  • Reply Denise from Urb'n'Spice October 4, 2017 at 10:01 am

    I want to try your recipe very soon, Nicoletta. It is comfort food at its best. A good ciabatta to go with it would also be delicious.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 4, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Thank you, Denise, I’d love for you to try it! Just remember that depending to the kind of beans the cooking times may vary. And you can play with the consistency, I like mine thicker (and in fact it is called Pasta e Fagioli not Soup and Fagioli 😉 ). Ciabatta bread is always a great addition to almost anything. 🙂

  • Reply Myra Hyland-Samson October 4, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Oh wow, this looks so delicious! I LOVE beans! And I’m always looking for new ways to cook them. I’ll definitely give this cozy recipe a try! Thanks!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 5, 2017 at 8:05 am

      If you love beans, this recipe is definitely a keeper! 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment!

  • Reply annie@ciaochowbambina October 5, 2017 at 8:28 am

    This is my kind of meal…and my mom’s! I’m going to surprise her with a pot! Thank you, my friend!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 5, 2017 at 8:34 am

      So glad you like it, Annie! And I would be honored if you shared it with your mom! All my family loves this dish! 🙂 Thank you, as always.

  • Reply Elaine October 6, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Mmmmmm . . . I swear I can smell that rosemary from here! Is there anything more comforting than a dish made in an Italian mama’s kitchen? I think not. 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 6, 2017 at 10:18 am

      I love the smell of rosemary! It is truly uplifting! And this dish is Italian comfort food at its best 🙂 . Thank you so much, Elaine!

  • Reply Nicole October 6, 2017 at 10:57 am

    This dish looks so comforting. It’s nice that you have such warm memories linked to this meal. I have to add this to my list of recipes to try!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 6, 2017 at 11:16 am

      Thank you, Nicole! I do, it is a dish I love! Hope you try it, it is true comfort 🙂 .

  • Reply anna @ italian enough October 9, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    the second it gets cold enough to make this, i will. as my blog name probably indicates, i am VERY into italian soups, and yet never think to make this one. thank you for this recipe!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 10, 2017 at 8:55 am

      I love this soup, hope you try it and let me know! Thank you for your comment!

  • Reply Justine @ JustineCelina.com October 10, 2017 at 10:02 am

    What a comforting dish — perfect for this time of year! I had a Tom Petty marathon last week too. I was fortune to see him live in Pemberton BC about 10 years ago and was reminiscing about that a lot last week. Cheers guys — hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 11, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Loreto saw him live as well…I didn’t get the chance! We had a great Thanksgiving, thank you for the comment, Justine!

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