Pasta with Stewed Beans (Pasta con i Fagioli Stufati)

When I started this blog I intended to share all my interesting experiences with cooking, and I’ve hold up to that intention. On some weekends I do so much cooking that I gather material for 5 to 10 posts in a single weekend. I’ve been cooking so much lately that I have about 20 posts worth of photos sitting on my hard drive, waiting to be published. So even on days like today when I didn’t cook anything interesting because I came home late from work, I browse through the photos to choose what to blog about.

After some posts about Tex-Mex and fancy stuff like sous-vide rose fish, it is time to go back to my culinary roots and post a recipe for a homey Italian pasta dish. Comfort food that is simple to prepare, cheap, loaded with flavor, and perfect for a cold autumn or winter day. This is one of those recipes that I had not tried before from my first cookery book by Biba Caggiano that got me started on Italian cooking. I probably never tried this before because beans are not really my favorite food. According to Biba this is a very old country dish. It sure has a lot of flavor, and although it still doesn’t make me fond of beans it was pretty good 🙂

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As I made this on an evening after coming home from work, I pressure cooked the beans to cut down the cooking time from an hour to just 12 minutes. The beans are then briefly stewed with tomatoes, vegetables, herbs, and a bit of pancetta (that you could leave out if you’d want to keep this vegetarian).

Ingredients

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For 2 servings

150 grams (.33 lb) spaghetti

80 grams (1/2 cup) dried kidney beans, soaked overnight in water

240 ml (1 cup) canned tomatoes, pureed in the food processor

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp minced onion

4 Tbsp minced carrot

2 Tbsp minced celery stalk

25 grams (1 oz) pancetta, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 fresh sage leaves, minced

60 ml (1/4 cup) homemade chicken stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

4 Tbsp freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

Preparation

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Put the beans in the pressure cooker with 120 ml (1/2 cup) of water. Pressure cook for 12 minutes (13-15 psi).

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Meanwhile, clean and chop the onion, celery, carrot, sage, garlic, and pancetta.

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Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the carrot, onion, pancetta, garlic, sage, and celery. Sauté gently for a few minutes.

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When the beans are cooked, depressurize the pan with cold water.

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Drain the beans.

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Add the beans, pureed tomatoes, and chicken stock to the frying pan and season with salt and pepper.

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Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened somewhat. Add the parsley.

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Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti al dente in boiling salted water according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce together with 3 Tbsp of the parmigiano.

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Toss to mix.

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Yes, I took the photo before garnishing with parmigiano. It allows you to see the beans and spaghetti more clearly 😉

Serve on warm plates, sprinkled with the remaining parmigiano.

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18 thoughts on “Pasta with Stewed Beans (Pasta con i Fagioli Stufati)

  1. I am truly envious of the raft of material you seem to always have in store. I go through a brief period of self induced smugness followed by panic. At present, I have a few lined up and am feeling smug…
    Nice pasta and beans too!
    Best,
    C

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    1. My mission to post ALL the interesting cooking that I do together with all the cooking that I do generates all the material. It does mean that I can’t make the posts as well written or good looking as yours…

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  2. This looks delicious. I adore beans but I would be more inclined to have this dish with rice or nachos.

    There are many ingredients that are universally adored (bacon, cheese, chocolate) but I think what is interesting are those items that are uniquely disliked. What do you dislike about beans? Is it a flavour or a texture thing?

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  3. Just the other day I was wondering if pasta and beans would go together in a nice dish. You just answered my question… and coincidentally enough, today we were just talking about simplicity 🙂 nice post!

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  4. I happen to love beans both as a foodie and a nutritionist. Tend to use cannelini most of all, but happened to put some red kidney ones into an oxtail braise being enjoyed for the second day today [actually like curry it was better!]. Have never thought of this way and methinks it would greatly suit as ‘soulfood’ 🙂 !

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  5. I love pasta with beans, Stefan, and this sounds like a great dish. I must admit to being surprised that Biba would use kidney beans here, though. I would have expected borlotti or cannellini beans to be used.

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  6. Hello!In my “regione” we use often “fagioli borlotti”. We’ve also a specialty here in Piacenza with borlotti and fresh handmade pasta that we call “pisarei”. I’ll search the recipe and i’ll post it on my blog maybe, it’s a poor dish but really tasty!

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  7. I’m not crazy about beans either. However, lately I have been more inclined to appreciate pasta e fagioli. We usually eat the “soup” version. I have never seen your version. I have to give your recipe a try. It’s easy, quick, looks yummy and there is pancetta in it. What’s not to like?

    Like

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