Hye Thyme Cafe: Pasta e Fagioli

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli : Hye Thyme Cafe

Let me preface this post by saying that the only reason I made such a HUGE batch was that when my sister moved out of state, she passed along what was left in her kitchen, including a bag of Great Northern Beans and a bag of Black Beans that I decided it was time to put to use. I have never actually worked with dry beans before. You more typically find Pasta e Fagioli recipes using Cannellini and Kidney Beans, but I'm not fond of Kidney Beans, and the Great Northern make a great substitution for Cannellini.  You can easily reduce this recipe by half and substitute rinsed and drained canned beans for a quicker version. Many also prefer their Pasta e Fagioli as more of a soup, so feel free to increase the tomato sauce or broth to suit your preference.

If you keep it on the thick side, this is a great cool weather stick-to-your-ribs kind of dish. It may be June now, but it worked out great for me on a chilly, rainy day. Of course, I now have an entire freezer full! 

16 oz bag Great Northern Beans
16 oz bag Black Beans
2 T olive oil
6 oz pancetta, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
20 oz can tomato sauce
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
48 oz chicken broth
16 oz ditalini pasta
Optional garnish: basil, shaved Parmesan

  1. Pre-soak your beans per the package instructions. I used the overnight method.
  2. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the pancetta to render the fat and get some crisp on it.
  3. Add the garlic until it starts to take on some color, then add the onions, carrots, and celery, and continue cooking until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, broth, and beans, bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the beans are just about tender.
  5. Add the pasta and continue to simmer until al dente, adjusting the liquid to suit your preference for how thick/thin you want your final dish to be.
  6. Serve up a bowl topped with shaved or grated Parmesan and fresh basil.
If you decide to go with the dry bean option, I will point out one more thing - it took MUCH longer to cook the black beans than indicated on the package, so be prepared to give it some time to simmer. I actually stopped paying attention to the time.

Pasta e Fagioli : Hye Thyme Cafe

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