I’ve been planning to start sharing the occasional recipe on Underground Crafter for a while. This is my version of an Italian classic, Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans).
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One of my recent goals has been to eat more veggies, so I’ve been making sure to include them in everything I cook. My version of pasta e fagioli is a bit drier and less tomato-y than other recipes I’ve seen.
Years ago, I was an avid “Once a Month Cooker” (also known as OAMC), and I got into the habit of prepping ingredients for several meals at once to save time. These days, my freezer is too small to do OAMC, but I still try to prep for a few meals at once when possible.
I still like to cook up the Pasta e Fagioli and then freeze whatever I don’t eat right away into lunch-sized portions. After I defrost those portions, I heat up an individual serving with some more broth to add a little moistness and flavor.
Marie’s Pasta e Fagioli
Recipe by Underground Crafter
- 6-8 as a main dish
- 1 cup dry Great Northern beans
- 8 oz. pasta elbows
- 2 carrots, cut into 1/4″ pieces
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 1/4″ pieces
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- 8 plum tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic (or to taste), minced
- 1 dry bay leaf
- 3 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
- 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (see Recipe Notes)
- black pepper
- shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
- I have a greater love of/higher tolerance for garlic than the average American, so adjust accordingly!
- I use the amazingly powerful bay leaves from a local farm, so you may need 2-3 to achieve the same flavor.
- I prefer my pasta e fagioli on the drier side. If you prefer a more soupy version, use 2+ cups of broth.
- If you prefer your spinach more wilted, add it to the medium-sized saucepan in Step 5.
- Soak beans in 5 cups of water overnight, drain water, rinse thoroughly, and drain water again.
- Or, use the quick soak method: bring the beans and 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan for 2 minutes, remove from heat, keep covered for an hour, drain water, rinse thoroughly, and drain water again.
- Or, substitute with 2.5 cups of rinsed, canned beans. Skip to step 3.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, add the beans, 5 cups of water, and bay leaf.
- Salt thoroughly and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Lower to medium heat, cover partially, and let simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Cook until beans are softened, about 60-90 minutes.
- Drain beans, reserving liquid and bay leaf. Set beans aside.
- In a separate large-sized saucepan, add reserved cooking liquid and bay leaf.
- Following pasta package directions, add additional water, if necessary, and salt.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions.
- Drain pasta and return to large saucepan.
- At the same time, in the medium saucepan, heat olive oil.
- Add carrots, celery, shallot, and plum tomatoes. Stir to coat in oil. Add salt and pepper.
- Saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to soften. Crush tomatoes with the back of the spoon.
- Add garlic and continue to saute until softened.
- Add chicken or vegetable broth to medium saucepan (with vegetables) and bring to a boil.
- Add beans and spinach to large saucepan with pasta.
- Pour in liquid from other saucepan and stir to combine. Simmer briefly until spinach wilts slightly.
- Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese if desired.