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Pasta “Fazool”

If this isn’t pasta fazool weather, I don’t know what is. Nothing takes the chill off like a bowl of stick-to-your ribs pasta and beans in saucy tomatoes. Side note: I didn’t find out until I was in my 20s that “fazool” was just mangled Italian-American for “fagioli” (beans).

Yesterday I made the fastest “zool” ever: I happened to have about 4 cups of cooked farfalle in the fridge and about a cup and a half of marinara sauce. I combined them in a pot with a can of petite diced tomatoes, a can of white beans, a splash of water, and lots of dried oregano, basil, a little salt, red pepper flakes and some cracked black pepper. That’s it. Heat and serve. Ready to eat in about 10 minutes. The best part? Jon said it was the best pasta e fagioli he ever ate and that it tasted like it had been cooking for hours!

Pasta Fagiole… and More

There’s something about a 24-inch snowfall that makes you want to cook hearty, comforting food. For us, it was pasta fagiole, the classic Italian pasta and bean soup. As the snow fell relentlessly for 24 hours straight, we were warm and cozy inside, cooking up a storm to rival the one outside. We’ve lived in the South so long, we don’t even own a snow shovel.

I hadn’t made “pasta fazool” in ages, and suddenly Jon and I were both craving it. I usually make it with cannellini beans and elbow macaroni, but with the snow raging, I had to make due with pinto beans and tiny tri-color shell pasta. It may be a new favorite combination. I sautéed some onion and garlic, added diced tomatoes and a little tomato sauce I had on hand, some basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper. Within 20 minutes, it was ready. I especially love the way the pasta absorbs much of the flavorful broth, making the finished dish less a soup, but no less delicious. Let it snow!

Speaking of snow, one of the ducks who shares our property with us decided to make his very own “snow angel.” How cute is that?

1,000 Vegan Recipes News:

1,000 Vegan Recipes
has been popping up all over lately and thanks to everyone who has blogged, commented, or written such great things about my new book. There are two in particular that I would like to share here. The first is from the December e-newsletter of cookbook author Nava Atlas and the second is from this month’s e-newsletter of Howard Lyman, the “Mad Cowboy” himself. (They both also posted sample recipes!)

from Nava’s e-newsletter:
“Okay, vegans, here it is—your very own Joy of Cooking. Covering every culinary angle under the sun, Robin’s tome is a great resource and reference for every vegan kitchen. Robin has been a great colleague for many years and is a prolific and talented food writer. Her recipes reflect the way I like to cook, with creative variations on easily available ingredients and streamlined procedures. …The Soy-Tan Dream Cutlets, made from both tofu and gluten, cooked up quickly and were indeed a dream for my sons, who love “meaty” items made from these ingredients; I paired these cutlets with Golden Mushroom Gravy, which has a hearty base of pureed chickpeas. I inadvertently increased the quantity for this, which made for quite a lot of gravy, but no matter—tonight I used the leftovers as a base for really good soup Chocolate Chip-Banana Bread was every bit as good as Robin’s testers claim it to be.” — Nava Atlas

from Howard’s e-newsletter:

“Robin Robertson’s 1,000 Vegan Recipes is the perfect book for a start towards a healthy new diet. Robin has created a must have for everyone interested in not only tasty food, but food that is good for you. 1,000 Vegan Recipes is the crown jewel of cook books.” —Howard F. Lyman LL.D., “The Mad Cowboy”

(Thank you, Nava and Howard!)