Sustaining our Souls During Difficult Times

April 15, 2020

We all know that this time is very bad. We are all in this together, but the good news is that we do not have to do our taxes today! Hardly a bright note but not staying up late over tax data is ok by me. We can defer that headache until later on this year, when we can better concentrate.

I want to re-publish one of my favorite blogs from a few years ago. Just seems appropriate today. Pasta e Fagioli, or as my Father called it—Pasta Fazool. There are three main ingredients, Pasta, Beans, Sauce. The pasta is usually small to match the size of the beans. The beans are cannellini, but Cici beans or any beans you love are fine. The sauce can be any broth or stock or tomato sauce which is my favorite. If you like you can puree some of the beans to add to the sauce. When in Italy, I try this dish in every restaurant and every one is different, a heritage dish.

You can begin with a soffrito, Italian (or in French, Mirepoix). Onions, carrots, celery sauté in oil until translucent. OR you could just add three cans together, the sauce, the beans and the cooked pasta. Done.

The nice thing is that the spices are so valuable and variable in this dish so you can easily make it your own personal style. I am lucky to live on a Farm and have fresh herbs most days. Oregano, sage, rosemary as the basics. Please try adding some red pepper flakes to liven up the taste.

Pasta e Fagioli * Good food to Sustain us During our Stay at Home Time

I usually make this from scratch but you have permission to do some pantry savaging

1. Take three ingredients out of the pantry. Canned tomatoes, cici beans, (or cannellini ) and pasta.

2. And a very good olive oil! I recommend Frantoio or Athena’s Blend.

3. Don’t forget the good wine to keep you company, while watching the water boil, and cooking the pasta.

4. While the pasta is cooking make a salad or just have perfect tomatoes for a snack. Or fresh lettuce from the garden or farmers market.

5. Open the cans and get your service bowl ready

6. Drain the pasta put back in the pot with a little pasta water, add the two cans to the pot to warm all the ingredients, have a sip of wine.

7. Add the seasoning, salt pepper, basil, parsley and red pepper flakes OR NOT!

8. Gently toss together to mix all the flavors.

9. Sit down enjoy dinner in silence or dance to the music of good food and good company, good oil.