Just to update yesterday’s blizzard. Falmouth is still buried under two feet of snow. The picture shows snow piled against our glass storm door in front of the house. Our official total: 25 inches. Frank is still recovering from cataract surgery, and not happy that he can’t use his snow blower. So we’re at the mercy of a local plow guy. We’re on his list, but hardly a priority. Our street has only been plowed once and is barely passable, so we’re not going anywhere anyway. Feeling grateful that we don’t have to. Another perk to being retired, I guess.
Frank is part of a Facebook group of people who grew up in West Haven, Connecticut. When he was growing up, the area was heavily Italian. During the blizzard, he said that people were sharing recipes for Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta and Bean Soup) because that’s what they remembered as a popular food made during a snow storm when they were young.
Thought I’d add my version to the mix. Pasta and bean soup has many variations. Often called peasant food, this kind of food has been passed down through generations for good reason. It’s simple, economical and nutritious. This soup can be made in under an hour with ingredients that most people probably already have on hand.
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 TBS olive oil
1 TBS tomato paste
4 C chicken broth
1 (15 1/2 oz.) can cannelloni beans (or small white beans), drained and rinsed (Goya)
1 C dry ditalini or small elbow macaroni
salt/pepper/red pepper flakes
grated Parmesan cheese
1) Saute the onion, celery and garlic in olive oil until soft. Season with salt, pepper (scant half teaspoon each; you can adjust later) and a dash of red pepper flakes.
2) Add the broth, beans, ditalini and tomato paste. Bring to a boil.
3) Lower heat, but keep it at a low boil until the pasta is soft and the soup is thick.
4) Check for seasoning. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Quick, easy and really good!