PASTA E FAGIOLI
Pasta e Fagioli is a classic Italian dish often referred to as “cucina povera” – poor man’s cooking – forming part of a very traditional way of cooking from when older generations of Italians lived off the land and led a simple life. Pasta Fagioli has an unmistakable flavour that has been exported the world over in homes of immigrants who make their own versions for families, adapting to the ingridients they can find. This timeless Italian comfort food uses short pasta and beans and really warms the heart. Make pasta e fagioli along with Nonna Igea, who will share how to make homemade sagne – an ancient type of pasta form, from Abruzzo!
Watch Pasta e Fagioli video recipe:
How to Make Pasta Fagioli – Pasta with beans
For the dough:
- 500g/17.6oz flour
- 1 egg
For the sauce:
- ½ Carrot (chopped into small cubes)
- ⅓ brown onion (chopped into small cubes)
- White beans (approx 50g/1,7oz – 60g/2,1oz per person)
- 1 bottle Italian tomato Passata – 500ml/17oz
- Sea salt
- Basil leaves
Large pot for boiling pasta
2 x medium pots for the beans & sauce
Large mixing bowl
HOW TO MAKE THE PASTA (SAGNE)
- To start making pasta e fagioli you first prepare the sagne pasta dough, so pour flour on your wooden board.
- Make a mound with the flour and create a well in the centre.
- Crack the egg into the well and start whisking it carefully using a fork.
- While doing this, bring the edges of the flour into the centre with the fork, and quickly continue to cover the egg all the way around.
- Once all flour is incorporated, add a little bit of water, and use your hands to start kneading the dough.
NONNA IGEA’S TIP: there is no standard measurement for water, it depends on the flour texture; you have to feel it with your hands. The dough should not be too soft or too hard.
- Begin to mix together using both hands until the sagne dough begins to form.
- Keep kneading so that it starts to form together and eventually smooth out.
- When you’re happy with the consistency let the dough rest for 10-15 min covering it with a bowl.
- Once dough has rested, begin flattening it using your hands for a couple of minutes.
- Then, with the rolling pin, start to roll out the dough, moving it forward and back, by pressing gently and spreading the dough from the centre, out.
- Continue this process until the dough reaches the desired thickness.
NONNA IGEA’S TIP: sprinkle extra flour as you work and turn the dough so it doesn’t stick.
- Once the dough is thin enough, cut the dough into strips (not too wide or narrow).
- Next, place one strip on the top of the other (3 layers), and start cutting smaller strips – it’s OK if they’re not all exactly the same size!
- When all the sagne are ready to be boiled, put a large pot full of water on the stove and bring it to the boil before adding a pinch or two of sea salt.
HOW TO COOK THE BEAN SAUCE
- While you’re waiting for the sagne dough to rest, put the beans in a pot, add water, a pinch of sea salt and bring to the boil. It will take approx 15-30 min.
NONNA IGEA’S TIP: Don’t overfill the pot with water, because you wont drain the beans, just add enough to cover them. .
- As the beans cook, put a pot on the stove and drizzle EVOO along with carrot and onion, letting them saute.
- Once carrot and onion start to brown, add the tomato passata, a pinch of sea salt, fresh basil leaves and simmer for 30 minutes.
- When this is ready, add 5 generous tablespoons of sauce to the beans.
MIXING THE PASTA & BEAN SAUCE
- Once the water boils, cook the sagne for 5-6 minutes then drain and transfer them in a large bowl.
- Now get the beans and add them in the bowl with the pasta.
- Stir everything together and finally your pasta e fagioli is ready.
HOW TO SERVE
Serve up a single portion of pasta e fagioli in a soup plate. Use a ladle to add extra sauce making your pasta fagioli even more succulent.
Remember to enjoy it nice and hot…it will warm your heart and stomach!
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!
Some other yummy recipes from Nonna.
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