My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Papa's Pasta E Fagioli

I'm pulling this from the "Archives". It is the perfect Meatless, Ash Wednesday meal. I'm posting this today because you have to soak your beans overnight. This was originally postied the first part of January. It is now the middle of February and I'm ready for some serious whining.

Well yesterday I was all excited about making Snow Cream and put my 6 quart stainless steel bowl outside to gather snow all day. At 4:00 p.m. I went to get it and I might have had a 1/2-inch of snow. Not enough for Snow Cream, maybe next time. We haven't had a day above freezing in 2 weeks and next week only looks a little better. If you think I'm whining now just wait until the middle of February you will stop reading this blog by then. I only know one other person that hates cold weather more than I do, my niece Angie. These other idiots around here just love it. Well it's a good reason to stay in and cook. Cold weather just screams "Soup". I have been making this soup for 20 years. Yes, I'm old, but I'm not telling you how old. This is from a really old cook book, one of my favorites, Papa Rossi's Secret of Italian Cooking, copyright date 1969. This is real, old Italian cooking. If you are looking for an Olive Garden type of Pasta Fagioli, this ain't it. Twenty times better. According to the book, this recipe is over 2,000 years old. Don't be emailing asking about the tomatoes, carrot, onion, etc. found in most of today's recipes, they are not in this. Don't worry about the amount of olive oil , it absorbs into the beans giving them a wonderful flavor. No you can not use canned beans because they will be mush by the time the olive oil absorbs. I hope that's all the questions you had. You really will love this.

I know pictures would be nice but I'm sure you know what white beans look like.

Papa's Pasta E Fagioli
1 pound white dried beans, soaked in water to cover, overnight
1 cup of olive oil
1 clove of garlic, unpeeled
1 large Italian bay leaf
1/2 pound salad macaroni (I like the little shells)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground hot red pepper
Few sprigs parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook beans in water in which they were soaked. Salt to taste, bring to slow boil, skim foam, add oil, garlic and bay leaf. Cook beans gently until tender, approximately 2 hours. The oil will be completely absorbed and a delicate flavor is the result. Remove garlic and bay leaf.

Cook the macaroni, drain and reserve 1 cup of the liquid. Add pasta to the beans, with the reserved liquid and the hot pepper, and simmer until thick.

Garnish with parsley and grated cheese before serving. All you need is a simple salad and hot crusty bread for a complete meal.


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