Pasta Fagoli

Most people I know have a handful of dishes that are constantly in dinner rotation. The minute the weather gets crisper, I crave this simple pasta and bean dish. It’s filling, comforting, and delicious. Don’t be misled by the few ingredients,  it’s a winner.  Ditalini pasta is pretty easy to find now, you might find it labeled as pasta salad noodles. Try to find it if you can, I can’t imagine this dish with any other type. Again,  sorry that the picture isn’t very clear, my blackberry  isn’t high-resolution! I’m still debating what camera to get. Any suggestions?

Pasta Fagoli

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped
Olive oil to cover bottom of pan
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tsp. crushed hot pepper (or more for extra kick)
2 large cans regular,plain tomato sauce
1 bunch parsley, chopped
4 cans northern beans (Cannellini), rinsed or 1 lb. beans, soaked
1 lb. Ditalini pasta

In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil and add the chopped onion , garlic and red pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until onion is translucent. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the tomato sauce, parsley and beans.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, cook 1 lb. ditilini pasta in salted water. Once the pasta has become al dente, drain but reserve 2-3 cups pasta water.  When ready to serve, add pasta to tomato and bean sauce and thin with pasta water. You will probably not use all 2 cups. Add 1/2 cup at a time, stir, and add more if need be. It should thin the tomato sauce out so it is thin like a soup broth.

This taste even better the next day. If you have leftovers, add a little more pasta water before refrigerating.

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