Pasta e Fagioli is one of the most famous Italian dishes. It is considered to be among the “national” Italian dishes. Italians eat it from the Alps to the Mediterranean and it varies from region to region or even from home to home.
Its ingredients are simple and ones we can find in any home during winter time. Two contradictory ingredients are combined into this dish; legume and pasta. Indeed, this combination is unique and its origin can be found more than 200 years back. It is considered to be a poor’s dish and was widely eaten in the Italian countryside especially during the first wedding night.
Beans just like potatoes, tomatoes and peppers arrived in Europe after Columbus’ discovery of the New World. Only around 1530 did beans made their entrance in the Italian and further into European gastronomical tradition.
Because of their nutritional value, easiness in cultivation and the ability to dry them and consume them throughout the year, legumes have become a major ingredient in Italian and generally in the Mediterranean diet. The crop adapted perfectly in the Mediterranean climate and legume became the food of almost everyone.
Soon legume expanded throughout Europe and became an important ingredient for all countries. In fact, they became so important that Umberto Eco this grand philosopher and writer said that the European civilization was saved during poor years because of the beans and if they weren’t brought in Europe from the New World, European history would be definitely different.
In Greece, we consume beans a lot throughout the year. During winter, mostly as a soup and during summer as a salad or as casserole. Italians added beans in their soups too and that’s how Pasta e Fagioli soup came up.
Two years ago, I took part in a cooking show in Greek TV and I was cooking along with a Greek chef Kostas Tsigas. I made my fish fritters and he made this delicious soup. Ever since I’ve wanted to make this soup, but somehow other things came in the way and made me postpone it. The past few days I am sick with a very sore throat and runny nose, so this soup was exactly what I was looking for. It is delicious and I highly recommend it to you especially during these cold winter days.
- 300 gr. / 10 oz fresh beans
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, diced
- ¼ of cabbage, shredded
- 1 potato, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, cut in half
- 300 gr. / 10 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1 thyme sprig
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- 400 gr. / 14 oz. Chopped tomatoes or concase
- 1 piece about 100 gr. of parmigiano Reggiano (I used the part that is usually discarded that has parmigiano and the outer part that we do not eat. It is very umami) you can use either this or any other part
- 150 gr. / 5 oz. short pasta like elbow or any other
- ½ cup olive oil
- 5 cups of chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- In a deep pot pour the olive oil and sauté the onion, mushrooms and carrot.
- Add the cabbage, potato and garlic and continue to sauté until they become somewhat soft.
- Add the fresh beans and the piece of parmigiano cut in smaller pieces.
- Pour the tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, sage and the chicken stock and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the beans are soft.
- Salt and pepper.
- Add the pasta along with one cup of hot water and let simmer until pasta is al dente.
- Serve immediately.
- 300 γρ. φασολάκια χάνδρες
- 300 γρ. φρέσκα μανιτάρια, σε φέτες
- 1 κρεμμύδι, ψιλοκομμένο
- 1 καρότο, ψιλοκομμένο
- ¼ λάχανο, τριμμένο
- 1 πατάτα, σε κυβάκια
- 1 σκελ. Σκόρδο, στα δύο
- 1 κλων. δενδρολίβανο φρέσκο
- 1 κλων. θυμάρι φρέσκο
- 3-4 φύλλα φασκόμηλο φρέσκο
- 400 γρ. κονκασέ
- 1 φλούδα παρμεζάνας
- 150 γρ. κοντά ζυμαρικά
- ½ φλ. ελαιόλαδο
- 5 φλυτζάνια ζωμό κοτόπουλου
- Αλάτι – πιπέρι
- Σε μία βαθιά κατσαρόλα ρίχνετε το ελαιόλαδο και σωτάρετε το κρεμμύδι, τα μανιτάρια και το καρότο.
- Προσθέστε το λάχανο, την πατάτα και το σκόρδο και συνεχίστε να σωτάρετε μέχρι να μαλακώσουν λίγο.
- Προσθέστε τις χάντρες και το κομμάτι της παρμεζάνας κομμένο σε μικρότερα κομμάτια.
- Προσθέστε το κονκασέ, το δενδρολίβανο, το φασκόμηλο και το θυμάρι.
- Προσθέστε το ζωμό και αφήστε να σιγοβράσει για 30 με 40 λεπτά.
- Προσθέστε τα κοντά ζυμαρικά, με ένα φλυτζάνι ζεστό νερό, αλάτι, πιπέρι και βράστε, σε χαμηλή φωτιά, μέχρι τα ζυμαρικά να είναι al dente.
- Σερβίρετε αμέσως.