Friday, February 9, 2007

Pastafazool – Italian Soul Food at its Best!

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.

Ingredients:
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)
1 onion
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)

12 comments:

Felicia said...

I've never seen the tubes of tomato paste before, but the idea is ingenious! I hate the cans - I nearly always end up having too much waste. I will have to look for the tubes in the future.

Anonymous said...

"Cannellini Beans".

Chef John said...

Yeah, that's what I meant. Always use what I mean, not what I say. ;)

Sarah said...

Love this recipe, going to make it again tomorrow now that rainy season has started. But I just noticed you don't have the Italian spices amount listed in this post - please advise!

Chef John said...

just an omission, I used about a tbl of dried Italian herbs

furbeach said...

My computer crashed a year ago and I lost my bookmark for this site. It's snowing here in the East today and I remembered this great dish. Well after searching around the web I am back and guess what I will have for dinner tonight.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog and I made the no knead pizza (better than California Pizza Kitchen) the tamale pie and the pastafazool all in one week. Everything was absolutely delicious!! I will look forward to the disappearance of the butt picture - a bit distasteful to me. Hopefully it will be gone by tomorrow. Thanks so much for ALL of your wonderful recipes. What a great find your blog is. As soon as the butt picture is gone, I'll tell everyone I know!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Chef John

Love the Pasta figole reipe.
Came out perfect and the family loved it. I use the mild sausage since the family likes it that way.
Great recipe

GOD bless
Paulo
:)

Anonymous said...

Chef John, I noticed the cannellini beans I got came mixed with a lot of water. Do you recommend straining the beans?

Anonymous said...

Added kale about 5 minutes before the pasta. It was like sausage and kale soup with pasta in it and beans instead of the potatoes. Delicious. I'll try it with collards next time.

Anonymous said...

I am really enjoying surprising my hubby with delicious dishes! :-) You are my blog to go. Thanks for such yummy recipes. Twila in MT

DG said...

Gonna make this today
1. its damn cold
2. My inner child misses her great grandma that made this when i was a kid .

Lets hope it turns out good :)