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Recipe: Pasta e Fagioli

by Sally Masters, P.A. 05/02/2021

Image by Valter Cirillo from Pixabay

In Italy, it's long been a cherished tradition to harvest beans, place the pods over the ground under the autumn sun, then store the sun-dried beans for wintertime. On brisk days, beans would be cooked up with a medley of vegetables and pasta. When the cook tossed dry pasta tossed into the stew, the starch from the beans and pasta would lend themselves to a creamy mix, thickening to form a robust and aromatic winter meal.

Keep the history alive! Make it tonight, or prepare it a few days in advance and let it marinate. Either way, this rustic, casserole-style soup will not disappoint. Here's how to do it like the Italian cooks do.

Step 1: Pronounce It Authentically 

It has to be said. Pasta fazool, as folks say in the northeastern U.S., comes from pasta e fasule — the Neapolitan term. It got a little exaggerated when Dean Martin famously sang about those stars that make you drool Joost like-a pasta fazool. That’s amore!

But if the dish is named pasta e fagioli, it's pronounced PAH-stah eh fah-JOL-eh. The first “i” in fagioli blends into the o that comes after it.

The exact translation? Pasta and beans.

Step 2: Gather the Ingredients

Here's what to lay out on your counter:

  • 1 ½ cup small pasta shells 
  • 2 cups dried Cannellini beans, cooked (or 1 can, with the liquid)
  • 2 Tbsp. cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large, finely chopped onion of your choice
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, with the strings pulled out and discarded
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes
  • ½ tsp. salt and pepper, mixed
  • 1 Tbsp each dried basil and oregano 
  • 1 quart of hot water
  • Step 3. Prepare a Red Sauce

    Make a simple Italian sauce by blending your tomatoes and olive oil, the chopped onion, basil and oregano, salt and pepper.

    Step 4. Make and Cook the Soup

    Heat the olive oil over medium hear in large, nonstick pan. Chop the celery and add it, as well as your chopped garlic clove. When they are about to brown, stir in the red sauce.

    Simmer for 10 minutes.

    Add the quart of hot water.

    Blend the beans in.

    Bring the mix to a boil, and cook for another 10 minutes. 

    Step 5. Bring the Pasta Into the Mix

    Finally, add the dry pasta shells and boil the complete soup, stirring, for a final ten minutes, or until the pasta is just becoming tender. Continual stirring will keep your shells separated.

    Step 6. Serve and Enjoy

    Serve immediately, while it's hot.

    You might wish to garnish your Pasta e Fagioli with fresh Italian parsley, and serve with crusty bread and extra virgin olive oil. Two people can enjoy this meal, and have enough left over to marinate in the fridge and enjoy again the next day. That's amore!

    About the Author
    Author

    Sally Masters, P.A.

    Trustworthy, reliable, hardworking---a committed and dedicated Realtor who has earned the respect and admiration of her peers and the many clients who have called on her to consummate an important Real Estate transaction.

    For over two decades, Sally Masters has been successfully listing and selling homes throughout Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Estero, Ft. Myers and Cape Coral and surrounding areas. Today, she is recognized as one of Southwest Florida’s most outstanding marketing, negotiating and sales professionals. In 2018, this native of London, England joined the Signature International Premier Properties team, bringing her vast knowledge and insight of the residential, waterfront, golf course and estate home marketplace to one of Florida’s fastest growing Real Estate Companies.

    Sally has few equals in regards to her list of industry-wide certifications and designations. They include being a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and an Institute Luxury Home Market member. Sally has earned a CIPS Designation (Certified International Property Specialist), the RSPS Certification (Resort and Second Home Property Specialist) the SRES Designation (Senior Real Estate Specialist) and the MRP Certification (Military Relocation Professional)

    In addition, she has been the recipient of the prestigious Ad Miller Award, recognizing an individual who has contributed to the enhancement and preservation of private property rights. In August, 2018, Sally was featured in Forbes Magazine as a Real Estate Market leader for Southwest Florida.

    Sally Masters’ network of clients stretches far and wide- both beyond the United States and throughout Canada and Europe. For years, she has successfully worked with the many international buyers and sellers who invest and call home to Naples and its surrounding environs.

    Going above and beyond for her many clients and her commitment to keep her buyers and sellers well informed throughout the entire transaction process is what truly defines Sally’s highly acclaimed work ethic. She constantly receives referrals and new business from her many satisfied clients who enlisted her as their broker of choice and remain in close contact.

    Sally continues to give to the community she has called home for many years. She is the active and proud founder of the www. Adopt-A-Soldier.org, a charitable organization that sends packages to our troops stationed overseas.