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Pasta e Fagiole

Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli

I posted this in February 2012,  I did a week long tribute to my Italian heritage. This is my Mom’s recipe for Pasta Fagioli, she really made this her own and was known for this dish. It took years for me to pry the recipe from her, like so many cooks she never wrote anything down including amounts so it was hit or miss and it took me several years to get it right but my latest version was the closest I have ever gotten to my Mom’s fabulous recipe.

Ingredients and Directions:

1 1/4  cup great northern beans
1 clove garlic smashed
salt pork (about the size of a deck of cards)
8 cups water
Bring beans, garlic. pork and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for approximately 2 hours until beans are tender. I did not soak the beans overnight but if you do reduce cooking time by at least half.
1 28 oz can whole italian plum tomatoes (Blended until smooth)
1 can (28 oz) water – just fill the tomato can with water
1 clove garlic minced
1 shallot minced
salt and pepper to taste
4-5 fresh basil leaves
In dutch oven or large saucepan heat some olive oil, add garlic and shallot cook until they are soft and cooked through, add tomatoes, 3 basil leaves and water and cook for 30 minutes on medium heat.
When beans are done add to the tomato sauce (add beans and water they cooked in). Simmer on low for 20 minutes, the sauce will be thin, that is the way its supposed to be,adjust seasoning. Remove salt pork and add the cooked pasta, add 2 or 3 torn basil leaves and simmer for about 5 minutes and serve with grated parmigiano or romano cheese. NOTE: You can judge how much pasta to add I like about 2-3 cups of cooked pasta, it expands in the soup and you want to retain most of the broth.
Pasta:
2 1/2 cups AP flour
4 large eggs
1 tbs water
2 tsp olive oil
On work surface dump flour and make a well in the middle, add the eggs, water and olive oil and beat with a fork, working in a circle incorporate the flour until you have a cohesive dough, add more flour if your dough is too sticky. Knead until dough is smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
Or by food processor (which I did)  place flour in bowl then add the eggs, oil and water and pulse until it comes together into a ball. Turn onto lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
If rolling by hand roll dough with rolling pin as thin as you can, the dough should be almost translucent. Fold and cut into thin strips like linguine. If using a pasta machine follow manufacturers directions. NOTE: You will only need half of the pasta for this, wrap the other half of the dough well and freeze for later use).
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, when water is boiling add salt (the water should be salty like sea water) Add the pasta stirring to make sure each piece is separated and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and add to the bean and tomato sauce.

Dough Resting

Rolling paper thin ready to become linguine

41 Comments Post a comment
  1. Antisocial Patty #

    Wow, that sounds delicious!

    January 11, 2014
    • It was one of my favorites as a child. My Mother made it so well. I have been trying and this was the closest. Thank you.

      January 11, 2014
  2. This sounds really good Suzanne. I like the amount of sauce with the pasta. And using salt pork must really give it a wonderful flavor. Love this.

    January 11, 2014
    • Salt pork is key for this in my opinion I only say that because I am replicating my Mom’s but I am sure it would be great without it as well! Thanks so much.

      January 11, 2014
  3. Great recipe! Brings back good memories – my grandma makes a similar version of this dish and I usually eat it at least once when visiting her in Italy.
    Next time I visit I’ll propose preparing it with shallots.

    Have a good weekend!

    January 11, 2014
    • The shallot is my idea, I happen to like using them, my Mom used onion. Would love to know how your Grandmother makes this. Thanks Julian.

      January 11, 2014
  4. Gosh that looks yummy Suzanne! I haven’t seen ‘Great Northern Beans’ over here before… but I just googled them and they seem to be in the same league as cannellini and navy beans. I look forward to trying this recipe!

    January 11, 2014
    • They are just white or navy beans. Yes exactly, love google you can find out info on just about anything. This is recipe is in the top 5 of favorites from my Mom. She really knew her way around a kitchen. Thanks so much.

      January 11, 2014
  5. Wow, at least you managed to get the recipe! I never did. With particular breads that the Matriarch used to make. Gone!
    Something like haricot would be similar to what you’re using. Cannellini are larger. Sometimes it’s just too confusing!
    Have you seen your doctor yet? And if so, hoping it was good news.

    January 11, 2014
    • Oh it’s like pulling teeth to get recipes, it took years of prying and prodding and the taste is like 98% there I still think there could be something Mom left out. No seeing the doctor on the 23rd, will let you know she only see’s patients one day a week and that was the first available that worked for me.

      January 12, 2014
  6. That looks so good Suzanne and flavorful. I absolutely love to add beans to my pasta dishes or soups…makes them so hearty and filling! I love shallots too, but don’t use them often enough. This has my mouth watering a bit. 🙂

    January 12, 2014
    • Thanks Brandi, yes I love adding beans to all sorts of dishes. Shallots are great, different than an onion similar in flavor, I use them all the time in place of onion.

      January 12, 2014
  7. Wonderful recipe!! I’ve never made pasta (and don’t have the equipment) but you’re nudging me to get going on it. Aren’t family recipes the best?

    January 12, 2014
    • They really are the best, it took years to finally get this from Mom but it’s such a good recipe I am so happy to have it!

      January 12, 2014
  8. This looks beautiful and delicious!! 🙂

    January 12, 2014
  9. Suzanne! It makes me happy just THINKING about pasta e fagioli let alone eating it! I see a steaming hot plate before me in the near future. Definitely. Thanks for sharing your mom’s version. It looks delicious!

    January 12, 2014
  10. Fig & Quince #

    Oh my gosh, this is so YUMMY looking!!!

    January 12, 2014
  11. This looks so comforting. How special that you are able to recreate something so important to your childhood food memories. Thank you for sharing something so dear to your heart (and stomach).

    January 12, 2014
    • Thank you Stacey, it is a very special recipe and I tried to make it just like my Mom.

      January 12, 2014
  12. meg #

    This looks so amazing, and perfect for a cozy winter day. I’m going to dry this soon!

    January 12, 2014
  13. This sounds delicious and just the sort of food to combat the wintry chill.

    January 12, 2014
  14. I love that you are recreating the things your mother made. I’d love to taste this – I bet it is absolutely beautiful. Seems like serious comfort food – always my favourite.

    January 12, 2014
    • It is comfort food, really peasant food from Italy. It’s filling and warm and so delicious. Thank you so much Lindy!

      January 12, 2014
  15. Liz #

    wow–I feel lucky to have this recipe 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    January 12, 2014
  16. What a beautiful recipe!! I love this type of recipe, the one that stands out from childhood…that we try to recreate over and over until we get it just right. I say “just right” but I still can’t ever get my mom’s recipes to taste like hers do.
    I love pasta fagioli, and this looks amazing…one that I definitely need to try. I need to perfect my pasta making…looking at your photo, it’s a perfect sheet coming out of the roller. I still can’t get that right!! ❤

    January 13, 2014
    • I know, this is good but it’s still not exactly like Mom’s she never wrote things down, Mom’s and Grandma’s cooked like that so handing down some of these recipes is challenging. It took many conversations with considerable prying to get this. I was hell bent on getting it right. Thanks so much, I was lucky the pasta is not always that perfect looking.

      January 13, 2014
  17. Yum! Nothing beats a good pasta e fagioli!
    Thank you for sharing, Suzanne!

    January 13, 2014
    • Yes, pasta e fagioli is the best. A nice salad and some crusty bread and it’s heavenly. Thank you Stefano.

      January 13, 2014
  18. Oh, looks soooo good Suzanne. I only started enjoying pasta e fagioli as a young adult. As a young child, I so hated this dish. But I had to eat it anyway. Who knew what I was missing? I know now! 🙂

    January 14, 2014
    • I love this dish, kind of grew into it. It was my Dads favorite and as a young child I could take it or leave it, as I got older I learned to really love it. Thanks so much.

      January 14, 2014
  19. Oh Suzanne! This looks amazing! I can’t believe you make your own pasta. I’m so lazy when it comes to make pasta or bread. I always take a shortcut and buy them! 😉
    Haven’t you noticed that, even if we follow our moms’ recipes step by step, the dishes never taste like theirs? Her majesty always says to me: Mommy, it is good but Nonna’s is better! 🙂

    January 14, 2014
    • Thank you Francesca, I will swear that our Italian Mothers and Nonna’s purposely leave an ingredient out so it doesn’t taste the same so they will hear that beloved phrase that your little princess utters “Mommy it is good but Nonna’s is better”

      January 14, 2014
  20. Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your family recipe with us. Been making more fresh pasta lately so I hope to try this soon!

    January 21, 2014

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