Pasta e Fagioli, pasta with white beans, gives new meaning to "white meal".
Continuing with the Italian theme this week. (Irish food, trust me, is nothing to blog about.) Here's one of my favorite quick and easy pasta dishes, a nice change from spaghetti and meatballs. Or lentil balls, as Chez Flake has served from time to time.
I first saw the recipe in a Seventh Day Adventist cookbook I bought from a door-to-door saleslady. (I said no to the tracts, but the cookbook looked less evangelical. Until I tried this recipe, then I was a convert.) The ingredients are found in most any cupboard, and since it's a thirty-minute or less meal, it's nice to make when you've been out all day and have hungry houseguests to feed. (I've made the same thing with dried beans, but they tend to be starchier. Save yourself the trouble.)
Don't be afraid of the amount of garlic involved. You only live once, and much longer if you eat this much garlic every day. You may also have seen this recipe elsewhere, with lots more ingredients. Don't bother with that either; this is simple and satisfying. Serve with brocolli rabe if you have it, and white wine.
Pasta e Fagioli
1 lb vermicelli or angel hair pasta, cooked
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
10 garlic cloves, minced (yes, that’s 10!)
4 cups canned or cooked cannelloni beans or white beans, undrained
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
Rosemary for garnish
In a large skillet, sauté onion in olive oil until the onion is lightly browned. Add garlic and cook gently for an additional 2 minutes, but do not brown. Add beans with liquid and return to a boil. Lower temperature and simmer for 5 minutes, adding water if necessary to maintain a juicy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve over pasta, with a sweet sprig of rosemary on top.
Half this recipe serves two people nicely, by the way.