The dish we are making today is really called “Pasta e fagioli,” “pasta and beans.” But, is (mis)pronounced and (mis)spelled by most Italian-Americans (me being one) as "Pastafazoo.” As I mention in the clip, if there is ever a Soul Food Olympics, this simple and hearty Italian meal of beans and macaroni should be that country’s entry! There are so many different kinds, ranging from very soup-like to thicker stew-like versions. Some have meat, some don’t, some have tomato, some don’t, etc. The only standard ingredients are pasta and beans, the rest is up to you (and by you, I mean me).
The pasta I decided to use is called “Orecchiette,” which means “little ears” due to its shape. It really works great as you’ll soon see. For the beans I went with jars of cooked Cannellini beans, seeing no need to cook dry beans from scratch. Also, it was cold and raining outside as I made this dish, and I was very happy about that, as I knew it would make this taste that much better.
1 pound Italian sausage
8 oz dry pasta (Orecchiette, Penne, Elbow, etc.) careful, that only half a box!
2 jars cooked Italian white Cannellini beans (14 oz each)
4 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes
1 tbl dried Italian herbs
1 bay leaf
3 tbl tomato paste
1 quart beef stock (or chicken)