Humble Fare:: Ash Wednesday

>> Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It is traditional in our family to not only simplify our entire Lenten menu, but to eat soups on each Wednesday. Since we also abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, the soup is a vegetarian one - Pasta e Fagioli. I love the simplicity of this dish, it's lovely with a good piece of Italian bread dipped in jewel green, peppery olive oil, and a crisp salad. It makes a good meal for those not making a strict fast today.

Pasta e Fagioli is also a very forgiving recipe. This recipe makes 2 large meal-sized servings or 4 small side-servings. It's easy to double or treble (or more!) for your family. This is a very basic recipe, you can adjust your herbs to what you like, you can add other vegetables to the saute step (carrots, celery, etc.), and you can also add diced meats.

photo courtesy of CHOW

Pasta e Fagioli

  • 4 T olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely choped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 can kidney beans (any colour, but white is traditional) rinsed, drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz. small pasta, cooked (ditalini is traditional, but I'll be using cavatelli today)
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté until golden. Stir in tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Add herbs and simmer about 15 minutes. Add beans and cook until heated through. Adjust seasonings to taste. Toss sauce with pasta and remaining olive oil. Serve with crusty bread and parmesan cheese.


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