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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pasta e Fagioli. Amy Style. With Chicken. Unauthentic But Delicious.

This is about as unauthentic as you can get and still call this dish Pasta e Fagioli. True Pasta e Fagioli is a meatless "pasta & beans" dish. What I've concocted here is what happens when I stand in my kitchen at 6:00 pm and realize that I don't have enough of anything to really make a meal and I'm too tired to haul my cookies to the store. Enjoy! :)


Makes 6 servings

* 1 can organic kidney beans (**The 'real' recipe calls for dried dried great northern beans abt. 1 1/4 cups)
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 2 ribs celery, chopped thin
* 1 yellow onion, diced
* 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 large cloves)
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
* 4 ounces fusilli or other medium sized pasta
* 1 can organic chopped tomatoes
* 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3 1/2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
* 1 lb roasted chicken (or whatever cooked chicken you've got 'laying' around
* 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
* 1/4 cup fresh packed parsley leaves
* 5 large fresh sage leaves
* Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a stockpot over med-low heat, melt the butter. Then add celery, onion, and 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic; saute until translucent. Add beans, rosemary, sage, stock, tomatoes, pepper, and 3 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions until it is just underdone and set aside.

3. After the soup has simmered for 15 minutes then add the salt and chicken. Heat through.

4. Finely chop the fresh basil and parsley. Stir into soup just before serving. Serve soup with a
garnish of fresh grated Parmesan.

Crusty bread is a great addition to this fine meal.

**if you're using dried beans rather than canned - follow these instructions:
1. Rinse beans, cover with cold water, and soak overnight. Drain beans; set aside.
2. After you've cooked the veggies until translucent, add beans, rosemary, chicken stock, tomatoes, pepper, and 3 1/2 cups water. Bring soup to a boil at high heat. Turn heat to medium low; simmering for 1 1/4 hours (or until beans are tender).
3. Then follow step 3 and beyond.

(photo credit: rachelray.com)


  1. Anonymous3:57 PM

    I bought a box of mezzo ditale pasta because the pasta is so cute :-) and there was a very simple recipe for Pasta e Fagioli on the back. Sounded good, but I wanted to add some meat to make it substantive enough for the carnivores in the house as a main entree.
    Google search led me to this blog and boy am I glad! This is still warming on the stove but it is delicious. It has lots of healthy stuff and great flavors, and with the tomatoes (I used spicy diced) and the canned bean juice, with the other liquids, just the right ratio of liquid to solids. Only thing I changed was I used double the pasta since I had already cooked the whole box, and I added fiddlehead ferns instead of the sage or parsley since I didn't have the latter and the ferns are coming up and are at the edible stage. I cooked the chicken with a jerk rub to add even more spice for us.
    Thanks Amy, great recipe, glad I found you and that you didn't have dinner already planned that night you opened your fridge.
    S. Malonet

  2. Wow - that's so cool! Nice to meet you S. Malonet. So glad you liked it. :)

    The ferns sound delish - I'll have to try that.

  3. Shelagh Maloney7:17 PM

    I made this again with much excitement and just a few tweeks tonight and it was as good as last time! I included the juice of the beans from the can that I left out last time, and I was out of regular onion so chopped up green onion and added some cut up spinach while it simmered (since the fiddleheads are past their prime now). Even though I left it on the stove too long while i was tending the hens, I added some more liquid to suit and it was good as gold, and the husband raved and said I should make it every week :-) Note I sent the recipe to a friend and they pointed out it shouldn't be a cup of garlic, but a tablespoon or so. I told her it depends how italian or superstitious you are, but I've found if you cook enough your inner culinary editor corrects for recipe typos.
    I am a foodie and I love this easy and absolutely delicious recipe!
    Thanks again!
    Shelagh Maloney (typed wrong last time as Malonet, I'm Irish, not French!)

  4. I fixed the garlic boo-boo. So glad you loved it - that's so fun. I love this ... so true - "I've found if you cook enough your inner culinary editor corrects for recipe typos."