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!
pronounced Pasta Va Jool by my Italian grandparents. My dad, in a family of nine, had so much Pasta E Fagioli growing up, he never wanted to eat it again once he had his own family. He asked my mom never to make it. So I have never tasted it! I grew up surrounded by some major food prejudices.
Another was peanut butter…my mom saw it for the first time in the mid 1940’s when she was allowed into the mess hall where my GI father was stationed in her village in Belgium. It was plopped onto a sectioned tin plate along with other gloppy food items. She did not know what to make of it, but it turned her stomach. Years later, as she prepared our pb and j sandwiches, ( having acclimated somewhat and reluctantly to American food)she always reminisced aloud about her intro to peanut butter. And ironically, she is allergic to nuts.
See the memories your blog evokes?
Thanks for sharing the recipe as I was asking for one in that West Haven group. My mother in law never made this so I never learned how. I’m from Georgia – LOL – and we didn’t make this. I will be making a pot – going to be bitter cold this weekend.