Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pasta Fazoolander - So Good You'll Want to Take Off Your Underwear Without Removing Your Pants!

I realize that if you haven't seen the movie Zoolander, the title of this pasta e fagioli, aka pasta fazool, makes absolutely no sense. But, having recently seen someone perform the famous underwear extraction scene from the movie (see bonus video below), I just couldn't help myself.

So, is this hearty winter soup really so good you'd spontaneously attempt to remove your underwear without taking off your pants? Well, possibly, but you'd really have to love soup. Really love soup.

Regardless of whether you go Zoolander or not, no one will deny this is a super simple, very fast, and quite nutritional recipe. The addition of cheese tortellini in place of significantly less interesting macaroni, makes for an extra satisfying bowl of food.

As I say in the video, this is an answer to all the people who claim not having enough time to cook after a long day at work. This entire recipe, start to finish, takes about 30 minutes. And, if your excuse is you don't cook at all, well, this is a heck of a recipe to start with! It also happens to be the kind of dish you really want to be savoring on one of these chilly winter days. Enjoy!

Pasta Fazoolander (pasta e fagioli, pasta fazool) Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1-2 anchovy fillet
1 quart chicken, or vegetable broth
1 cup dry tortelinni
1 (15-oz) can white beans, drained
2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
red pepper flakes
parmesan cheese

View the complete recipe

Bonus Borderline-Inappropriate Zoolander Impersonation Video
The reason Zoolander was on the brain was this performance by Aubrey Huff at the San Francisco Giants' World Series parade. He went full Zoolander to remove his red "Rally Thong," the good luck charm he actually wore during the season (true story).


Anonymous said...

I said it before and I'll say it again-----Congrats on the SF Giants winning the WS!!!

That's the last time I'm gonna say it.


Anonymous said...

By the way, how would you describe the difference between minestrone and pasta fazool?


Anonymous said...

Hey Chef,
Sort of off the subject"BUT" in your white chili can you use dry tortelinni too. You know the recipe with the chicken thigh's. I love that recipe too.

Chef John said...

Sure, why not? Should work.

Anonymous said...

Another classic pasta recipe in under thirty minutes? Who are you tryin to get crazy with, ese? Don't you know I'm loco?

- Jesse from Detroit

Paula said...

what a great and delicious blog! here is so many inspirations!

have a nice time,

Anonymous said...

Couldn't find the inside-out grilled cheese on the blog... (it's on YouTube though). Just wanted to give you props - it turned my tomato soup into a second class grilled cheese dipping sauce. - Jesse from Detroit

Anonymous said...

Hello you,

I live in France, and I would like to say to you, your videos are very interesting!!

I discovered your blog and I am delighted to read, even if my English is not very good.

Besides, I apologize for my English very bad!

Thank you for all recipes and I'll test their soon.

bye bye

BillWade, NH said...

well it's cold here today in NH so I saw this and am making it now, adding garlic and a couple hot Italian sausages I had on-hand.

kfinnn said...

Hey Chef John - Can I use the anchovy paste I bought to make Spaghetti Al Tonno? That was good stuff, BTW. My husband freaked out when I put the anchovy paste in, but he thought it was pretty good in the end.

Chef John said...

yes, anchovy paste works great!

EFT for Cancer said...

Now this pasta dish is what I am looking for this winter season.

Basia said...

This is the ultimate! There is only one word for this soup: MAGNUM!

Gary said...

Chef - I recently found your blog and I've watched quite a few videos and tried a couple. I'm going to try this soup this week and look forward to many more!

Gary said...

Also Chef - curious what you use for your video/audio production hardware and software. It's very professional. I'm going to begin doing some videos on my company blog which is financial services. Would you mind sharing?


Birder said...

I'm going to try this with some gnocchi I have on hand (no tortellini until next grocery trip). Oh, and lots and lots of garlic!

Luli said...

You were right, Chef!! This soup is very, very easy to prepare. I had never made soup before (at least not from "scratch") and this was so amazing; I was really blown away.

I wasn't sure which are the "good" beans here and, in any case, there were only two brands at the store. I didn't buy excellent beans (they did look kind of cheap) but it was okay. Next time, though, I will really look for good beans.

I was in a rush when I went to the store because I got out of class late and I was starving (plus it's so cold!) so I didn't buy parmesan but I had some havarti at home; I used that and it was perfect.

What really made the difference for me was the tortellini. I bought the good ones and that made it spectacular. I did add a little too much salt but it was still very delicious. :)

Thank you very much for this recipe!! This will be a new favourite for me.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I still would like to know the difference between minestrone and pasta fazool. PLEASE.

Chef John said...

to me minestrone is a soup with lots of other vegetables, cabbage, potatoes. etc. and pasta fazool is thicker like a stew, and mostly beans and pasta, and sometimes meat. That's just my take.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I had a bet going on. (I'm not sure if I won or not!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks John. I actually made this recipe twice. I didn't have fresh oregano so i just used 1/2 tsp of dried. Your right a perfect fast meal for a weekend night. Tasted very good with a pastrami sandwich.

Chef John said...

everything tastes very good with a pastrami sandwich ;-)

Roll Tide Roll!!!! said...

Chef John, YOU are the MAN! I am completely and utterly addicted to your blog. Hell, I even watch the videos of things I wouldn't care to make, just for shits-n-giggles. You truly have inspired me to advance my knowledge in the culinary arts. BTW, you totally need a Chef John / Food Wishes page on Facebook!!!!!

Julie from Atlanta

Anonymous said...

We had this for dinner (I made a double recipe) and enjoyed it again for lunch the following day. So fast, easy to make, and so delicious. This No Excuses Soup is a winner!

Razors Edge said...

Thanks for the recipe john! I've tried this a few times already with some variation. Tonight I threw the tortellini into a super hot pan, just to brown the edges slightly before boiling. Its a nice little extra flavour in the soup!

Gary said...

I made this soup this week - DELICIOUS and SIMPLE All kids loved it. This will be a repeat in my home. Chef John comes through once again!

Christina said...

Just got done making this soup. YUM! When Peapod delivered my groceries I was told they ran out of white beans, so I used what I had on hand, chick peas. Very good!!! Doubt we will have any leftovers by the end of the day :D

Jonathan Kane said...

The soup was very good. We had it with Kale Tuscan Salad - a very healthy meal! I'm looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Jonathan

stabbia said...

OMG!!!! How can you just think about tortellini an pasta fagioli together???
Would you eat marshmallows with broth?
You've just done the same.
When you try to cook something you really don't know, please, surf the net for a recipe! In italy you will never ever find such an awful mess.

Chef John said...

lol, this is not Italian food, it's American food, so who cares if you'd see it in Italy!

Also, since you haven't tried it, you comment is ignorant. This was amazing!

Elysium said...

Hi Chef, I love your blog! I find your voice very comforting. : ) Question, I like a slightly sour, tangy flavor to my pasta fagioli, but I can't seem to achieve one. What would you suggest? I don't want to ruin a yummy pot of soup by guessing wrong! I'm going to try your recipe for my next batch this week. It looks delicious!

Chef John said...

not sure! that's usually from the tomatoes! maybe some vinegar?

Trevor J. said...

Hey Chef,

Is DRY Tortellini different than, say, the "fresh" tortellini in the refridgerated section of my grocery? If so, can I use either or does it have to be specifically dry, in a box?

Trevor J. said...

Hey Chef,

Was wondering if you could use the "Fresh" tortellini found in the refrigerated section of your local grocery, or does it absolutely have to be dry?

Chef John said...

Any tortellini will work!