Pasta e Fagioli, Pasta and Beans, one of the most traditional Italian pasta dishes. Whether you use dried or canned beans, cannellini or borlotti, there are as many versions as there are families cooking it.
Serves 4, Preparation 30 mins, Cooking approx. 1 hour
- pasta/mista-corta, 320 g
- Dried or canned cannellini beans, 200 g
- Tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons
- Lard, a small piece – optional yet recommended bb
- A slice of Cured ham, to chop
- Onion, 1
- Celery, 1
- Carrot, 1
- Garlic 1 clove
- Rosemary, a sprig
- Extra virgin olive oil – EVOO, 3 tablespoons
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
Using dried beans:
leave the dried beans to soak overnight. Drain and rinse them, transfer to a pot, cover with plenty of cold water, add a couple of bay leaves, as soon as it boils plunge the beans and cook about 1 hour. do not throw away this cooking water as it will be used again for the recipe.
Chop up a small part of the beans and obtain a velvety but not too puree-like cream. Keep aside.
Prepare soffritto by chopping onion, carrot and the celery, possibly with its leaves. Chop the slice of ham and the piece of lard.
Heat 3 tablespoons of EVOO in a saucepan, sauté with garlic and rosemary. Now add the chopped ham and lard, fry for a few minutes. Afterwards add the cannellini beans with part of their cooking water, a spoonful of tomato salsa, salt and black pepper to taste, stir and simmer about 20 minutes.
Pour the mixed short pasta directly into the pot, cover with the rest of the cooking water from the beans, cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If it gets too dry, set aside a bit of hot water or possibly a hot vegetable broth to add as needed.
Mix in the cream of beans, taste and season with some salt if necessary, stir and keep cooking for a few minutes, then turn off the heat.
Serve with a bit of EVOO and a generous sprinkling of ground black pepper.