I love Italian food and Pasta e Fagioli is one of my favourite dishes. Pasta e fagioli means pasta and beans and is a traditional dish found all around Italy. I am a big fan of “cucina povera” the poor/peasant Italian cooking style and this dish is a typical example of this. It is very simple and uses cheap easily found ingredients. The ingredients and how it is prepared varies greatly throughout Italy, this version is the closest I have been able to recreate that reminds me of the Pasta e fagioli I enjoyed so much on visits to Southern Italy.
Pasta e Fagioli
400g can Cannellini Beans (drained)
1-2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion diced
2 celery sticks diced
1 garlic clove peeled but not chopped
1/2 cup tomato passata/sieved tomatoes
( a spoonful of concentrated tomato purée mixed in hot water and made up to the 1/2 cup can also be used as a good alternative)
3 cups/700mls water
1/2 cup uncooked soup pasta/short cut pasta
Salt and Pepper to season
In a large pan add the olive oil and on a medium heat sauté the onions and celery for around 5 mins until soft but not browned.
Add the garlic and beans, stir well then add the water and tomato, cover and turn the heat up to medium to high and cook for 35 mins stirring occasionally.
When the 35 mins is up, add the pasta, season well and cook uncovered for a further 8-10 mins or until the pasta is cooked.
(Check the seasoning before serving up)
Serve in bowls and sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese if you wish!
(This version below was made with tomato passata so is slightly lighter in colour to the above bowl which was made with tomato puree)