The other day my boyfriend pulled out some leftovers his mom had given him, pasta e fagioli, pasta with beans. I snuck a bite (having eaten earlier) and it was so good, even cold! I couldn’t get it out of my mind so I decided to make my own last night. I had made a pasta e fagioli dish before, but it was a soup, with a lot of broth and chunks of tomato. That wasn’t the dish I had in mind. I wanted pasta with tomato sauce and white beans. Simple. I thumbed through a few recipes, some with potato, some with ground beef, some with carrots and celery and finally found a nice simple version that seemed like it would be very close to what I’d tasted. I hadn’t gotten a chance to ask his mom how she made hers.
It was in a book that has a surprising number of excellent recipes in it. When I first picked it up at the used bookstore many years ago, I saw all the pictures of movie stars and other celebrities in it and almost put it back down but then I read through a few recipes and decided to spend a couple of bucks. I’m so glad I did! The book is Eat This…It Will Make You Feel Better (Amazon link) by Dom DeLuise. You can buy it on Amazon used for $6. There are lots of stories to go along with the excellent recipes. In addition the pasta e fagioli, I’ve made escarole soup, stracciatelle soup, spinach and potatoes in broth, Mamma’s meat sauce and many more. But I think this pasta e fagioli is my new favorite.
Leftovers are good cold, as I first learned. Or you can reheat it over low with a little more water added.0