Thursday, 16 February 2012

Light Pasta & Fagioli (beans)

Pasta & Fagioli

This is a delicious and nutritious complete meal. It has vegetable protein from the beans and many plant vegetables.  Use an type of pasta you like, wheat would be more nutritional, try spelt, kamut or even gluten free. I would always follow with a crisp fresh salad to complete the meal.

2tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 each onion, carrot, & celery, chopped fine
3 asparagus stalks, snapped at end, chopped med.(opt)
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 mushrooms (opt)
1 cup zucchini chopped
1 1/2cup tomato puree
1 can white kidney beans(your favourite), rinsed and drained
4-5 parsley sprigs, washed, minced (including stem)
pinch of pepper flakes (opt)
1/2 tsp  dried oregano
sea salt & pepper to taste
500-600g pkg short cut pasta(I used wheat elbow)
grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for sprinkling on top

In a med. sauce pot, heat oil, add onion, garlic & pepper flakes.
Saute for 1-2min until softened. Add other vegetables stirring, saute on med.high heat do not let brown.~ As I finish chopping one vegetable at a time that's when I toss it into the pot and continue sauteing and chopping~
Pour in puree, add seasonings, herbs and spices. Stir and bring to a boil. Add beans and 1 1/2cups water.  Cook for 20-30min on low, stirring occasionally.
~This can be made 2 days in advance, refrigerated or frozen and stored for 1 month.~

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Tip in pasta and stir. Under cook the pasta while it is still hard to the bite NOT al dente. Rest the pot at the edge of the sink and tip pot to begin to drain water into the sink, using a colander to catch any pasta that may slip out. Pasta will sit on bottom of the pot, so you will have quite a few inches of water before you see pasta.  Draining water to determine consistency of the dish.~ You now can decide if you want soup or stew by how much water you leave in the pot!~If you drain all of it, you will have a drier pasta dish.
Add the sauce to the large pot and stir to combine.  Cover pot and let it sit for 10-15min. on the turned off burner to allow the pasta to continue to cook and absorb the liquids.
Serve with grated cheese and garnish with parsley.

Enjoy with love!

Serves: 6
*Use your imagination utilise any vegetable you have at home that you would use in any stew or soup.  I sometimes use broccoli stems, chopped fine, with the hard outer fibre discarded.  If I have bits of prosciutto rind I use that when sauteing the onions to add more flavour*

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