PASTA e FAGIOLI ALLA DE ANGELIS

(Pasta and Beans De Angelis Style)

INGREDIENTS

1/8 Lb. Pancetta - chopped
1/8 Lb. Prosciutto - optional
1 Lb. Tomatoes - fresh or canned Roma or San Marzano
3 Cloves Garlic - chopped fine
2 Tbl Tomato paste
3 Tbl. Olive oil - Extra virgin
1 Tsp. Oregano leaves - dried
1/2 Lb. Pasta - tubetti, ditali or  small shells.
1 Cup Beans - Borlotti or Canellini: presoaked and cooked al dente.
1 Cup Parmesan cheese - grated
Q.B.   Salt and Pepper
NOTE:There are probably as many versions of Pasta e Fagioli as there are Italians. This is a simple family version.  It can be changed by adding onions, carrots, celery etc. This version is simple to prepare, and allows the flavors of the pasta and beans to dominate the dish along with the tomato base.  Let us know how you like it.

PREPARATION OF THE BEANS

Beans can be prepared in any number of ways.  The simplest is to open a can of beans and use  them directly therefrom.   If this is the case, add them last as they tend to break up and dissolve if added too early. 

A very simple way of preparing excellent beans is as follows:  Add 2-3 cups of beans to a bean pot.  Cover them with water enough to have at least 1 inch of water over the beans.  Place the covered pot into a 250 degree oven, and let the beans cook for 4-6 hours, checking every hour or so to assure that the water has not evaporated and the beans do not burn.  Stir gently every hour or so.  when the beans are a bit al dente, remove from the oven, strain and put into a container for future use.  At this point you have unflavored beans which can be used in any number of dishes, including the one here.  If you can't wait to try them, put some in a small bowl, add extra virgin olive oil, salt and eat while warm.  Try to save a cup for the Past e Fagioli. If you want a bit of flavor, add a sliced onion to the beans and leave it there while cooking.  Beans prepared in this way serve as a basic ingredient for a variety of dishes.

PREPARATION OF THE DISH

Add the olive oil to a heavy bottomed non-reactive pot large enough to hold all of the ingredients and 3 -4 cups of water.  Add the the chopped Pancetta and the prosciutto if using it.  Brown these ingredients for about a minute, then add the garlic.  Cook for another minute, then add the tomatoes.   Turn the heat up high and cook for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.   Add 4 cups of water and the tomato paste. Add the oregano and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir for 10- 20 seconds.  Partially cover and let this sauce cook for 30-45 minutes. 

Add the pasta and the beans, turn the heat to medium and cook until for another  about 15-20 minutes.

Serve in bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese.  Pour 1 Tsp. of olive oil onto each serving, mix and eat!


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Last updated on: 06/03/99 12:51:24 AM