Recipes of Youngstown: Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli Submitted by Peggy Morgan Recipes of Youngstown Vol. 1, page 23

Ingredients: 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (depending on preference, you can use more) 1 small 6 oz can tomato paste rinsed with 5 cans of water for broth 1 tsp. sweet basil (fresh or dried) 1 tsp. parsley (fresh or dried) 1 bay leaf (to be taken out before eating) 1/2 tsp. oregano to start (depending on taste, add more) 1/2 box of Ditalini pasta 2 cans of Northern Beans with liquid 1 Tbsp. butter 1/2 c. Parmesan or Romano Cheese, with additional for garnish

Directions: Heat olive oil in pot. Sauté garlic and onion until soft. Add tomato paste, then water and stir until paste is dissolved. Stir in basil, parsley and oregano. Add beans along with liquid. Add the bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste. Let sauce simmer while you cook the pasta in salted water. While pasta is boiling take several tablespoons of the white bubbles from top of boiling water and add it to the sauce (I don’t remember why. It has something to do with the beans and starch in the water. It ties this all together, so I was told by my Grandmother). Drain the pasta (do not rinse) and add to sauce. Add a tablespoon of butter. I let all of this simmer for about an hour and do a taste test to see if I need to add anything else. Once I get the taste I like, I add about ½ cup of Parmesan or Romano cheese. If the Pasta Fagioli gets thicker than you like add another can of water and taste. I have been making this recipe since late 60’s. My Grandmother made it for years and years before… Sprinkle more cheese on top of servings.

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