I know you’re aware of the Texas tragedy and, like me, saddened beyond words. Yes, there are times in all of our lives that make us take a few steps back and realize life is unpredictable and every day we’re given is a day to be thankful for.
For me, hoeing the gardens, taking a walk along our old country road, and cooking helps bring life back into balance.
What kind of food do we cook when things are off-kilter? Familiar, comfort food.
Pasta fills the bill for many of us. Today I’m sharing a pasta fagioli recipe that begs for seconds. It takes less than 30 minutes to make.
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I’ve had a couple requests for it this week alone, so if that’s all it takes to get through a difficult day, I’ve got you covered.
The recipe isn’t new – it has made the rounds of readers’ kitchens for a while. I believe it’s so popular because of the sauce’s versatility.
Today I tossed some malabar spinach into the sauce. Other times I’ve used regular spinach, kale, mixed salad greens, chard, or whatever’s in the refrigerator vegetable bin. Once in a while, I make it sans greens.
The beans can be any kind you like.
For those of you to whom this recipe will be new, do try it and let me know how you like it, OK?
The recipe makes a good amount, so feel free to cut it in half. Better yet, make the whole batch and share.
Pasta fagioli my way
This is more of a pasta and bean sauce kind of meal, not one that qualifies as a soup.
I use three kinds of beans, so use whatever you have on hand, or your favorites. If I have cannellini, I always use a can of those, since they make a creamier sauce.
1 pound favorite pasta
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2-3 teaspoons dried oregano
28 oz canned tomatoes – diced or whole (smoosh with a potato masher)
3 cans beans – drained but not rinsed – I used kidney, cannellini and red beans
Several handfuls fresh greens, optional but good
Salt and pepper to taste (a shake of cayenne is yummy)
Parmesan or Romano for sprinkling on top
Cook pasta according to package directions.
When you put water on to boil, make sauce.
Pour olive oil into a large pan over medium heat.
Stir in garlic and oregano. Cook just until garlic starts to smell fragrant. Don’t let it burn.
Add tomatoes and beans, and bring to a gentle boil.
Taste for salt and pepper
Lower to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes or more.
Use a potato masher to mash some of the beans into the sauce.
Stir in greens until wilted.
Ladle over pasta and sprinkle generously with Parmesan.
Tip: What is malabar spinach?
Not a true spinach, the leaves are thicker than regular spinach. This Asian vining, leafy vegetable green produces until frost. Hot weather does not affect it. Grows nicely on a trellis.