Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta Stew with Beans)

This is a recipe I modified from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant by The Moosewood Collective. It's a really cool cookbook with recipes from various ethnic regions (including the Southeast US!) and countries, and the original recipe that I modified is in the Italy section. Don't let the kale turn you off. It actually MAKES the dish.

3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced - halve big slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch kale, washed, destemmed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes, with juice (Muir Glen has cans of fire-roasted tomatoes, and these really give the stew a wonderful smoky taste.)
1 can canellini or Great Northern beans (with juice this time!)
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley or 2 T. dried parsley
2 T. chopped fresh basil or 1 T. dried basil
oregano, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb. pasta (short, chunky variety, like penne)

Start cooking the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot, and sauté the onion and carrot for a few minutes. Add garlic and kale. Stir unti the kale is wilted down but not drying out. Add tomatoes with juice, beans with juice, and herbs. You can add water to make it thinner if that is what you like. Don't add water to keep it stewier.
When the pasta is done cooking, drain, and mix with the bean and tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn out into a serving bowl, and serve hot.

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