This time of year makes me want to cuddle up with comfort food. A favorite comfort food of mine is Pasta Fagioli. When I was going through a period of healthy eating (everything goes through these periods?) I found a recipe that was pretty easy, I had most of the ingredients and tasted really good. And I could get dear husband to eat it.
I have a couple of recipes to share over the next couple of days that are some of our family favorites. I’m going to share them the way I make them, along with easier ways to make them. I deliberately make things harder for myself, for two reasons: 1 – I’m really enjoying the process of cooking so I tend to try to make as much myself as I can. 2 – It’s cheaper (and possibly healthier) to make as much of it yourself as you can. Both dear husband and I have seen our weight, cholesterol and blood pressure numbers go down since I’ve been making more of our food.
I will try, whenever I make something, to make a big batch of it and keep small containers of it in the freezer. I’ve written about chicken stock and crushed tomatoes. When I share my chili recipe, you’ll see more instances of that as well.
This Pasta Fagioli recipe comes from this fantastic website called skinnytaste.com. Her food is delicious. The recipes I make from her are good and don’t generally require weird substitutions – its just good food. Her recipe is here. I followed it mostly, but also set it up to have some meals in the freezer. I’ve tried to freeze it with the pasta in it, but found the pasta soaked up most of the broth, but found when you freeze the broth and cook the pasta fresh, it works a lot better!
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 celery stock, chopped
-1 carrot, chopped
-1 cup pinto beans, soaked and cooked (or 15oz can cannellini (for authenticity) or pinto beans)
-16 oz crushed tomatoes from freezer (or 15 oz can crushed tomatoes)
-1 large bay leaf
-1 Tbsp basil
-1 Tbsp parsley
-1 tsp oregano
-32 oz of homemade chicken stock (or 2-14oz can of fat free chicken or vegetable (vegetarians) broth)
-2 cups water
-salt and pepper to taste
-2.5 cups dry ditalini or other small pasta
-grated parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
1 – In a deep pot, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat.
2 – Blend the beans with one can water (I used my immersion blender, but an electric blender or food processor would work)
3 – Add beans, tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken stock, basil, bay leaf, parsley, oregano, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a slow boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If serving immediately, add pasta and cook uncovered until pasta is al dente (according to pasta directions).
4 – Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated cheese.
If freezing, I will ladle two cups of broth into individual containers to freeze. When serving, I’ll put it in a medium stock pot to warm up. I’ll add a 1/2 cup of dry pasta per serving and cook the pasta in the broth.
If your family is fine with beans, you don’t need to blend them – my family prefers to have the beans blended in. I’m happy to say we had a delicious dinner and a couple of servings in the freezer!
- Fail to plan, plan to fail (the basics of meal planning). (greattastenowaste.wordpress.com)
- Meal Plan 10/28 (frugalupstate.com)