Pasta e Fagioli, Chopped Salad

Pasta e Fagioli and Chopped Salad

 

Pasta e Fagioli (pasta and bean soup) is very popular in East Coast Italian communities.  In the Boston – Providence area, it’s frequently pronounced  “pasta fazhol.”  Further south around New York and New Jersey, it’s commonly pronounced “pasta fazool.”  In either event, the final “i” is dropped.

The chopped salad is more “Cucina Nuova” Italian American.

Both dishes are very easy and very fast to make.

Salad dressing

  • 2 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove smashed.
  • Some chopped fresh Italian herbs-basil, oregano, marjoram, whatever’s available
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Combine ingredients together.  Check seasoning.  Let dressing sit while you prepare everything else. 

Soup

You can cook the pasta in the soup directly but boiling it and draining it separately will prevent the soup from getting too cloudy.

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 15-oz can Italian style diced tomatoes (or regular tomatoes and 1 tbsp each minced fresh basil and fresh oregano)
  • 1 15-oz can cannellini (white Kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 oz small pasta such as elbos, ditalini, etc.
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Chopped parsley

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add tomatoes, cannellini and chicken stock, bring to a boil and then simmer.  In a separate pot heat about 4 cups of water till boiling.  When boiling, add pasta and cook for about 8 minutes, or until al dente.  Drain pasta and rinse it with cool water and then add it to the soup.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately (if you aren’t quite ready to serve it, do not add the pasta yet or it will get mushy.  Toss it with a little olive oil and add it to the soup just before serving.  Garnish with cheese and parsley.  Makes 4 hearty servings.

Salad

  • Six cups romaine lettuce, stem removed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 oz dry salame, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • Half the contents of a 15-oz can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 oz provolone cheese, diced
  • 1 Roma tomato, stemmed and chopped

Combine ingredients in a large salad bowl.  When dinner is ready to be served, pick out the garlic from the dressing.  Give the dressing another whisk and then toss with salad.  The salad should be only slightly dressed and not soggy.  Serves 4.

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