Pasta e fagioli is a classic Italian dish that uses pantry staples like canned cannellini beans and diced tomatoes. Make this a vegetarian dish by skipping the pancetta.
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Pasta and tomato sauce: not exactly revolutionary. It's a combination favored universally for its ease of preparation, if not, in these recession-weary times, for its frugality — what could be simpler than boiling a fistful of dried spaghetti and dumping in a jar of sauce at the end? Other than slapping together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, not much.
Would you guess, then, the radical, disarming potential that this dish has when both the pasta and the sauce are homemade instead of thrown in the pot straight from the packaging? Considering this pasta pomodoro is made from only six ingredients, it's remarkable just how different it tastes from the store-bought version: rich, concentrated, full of natural sweetness, unadulterated even with onion or garlic. It's a pure distillation of a late summer tomato. The pasta too, when made fresh, is tender and toothsome, and it wears its ruby sauce with panache.
Sure, there's no question that more effort is required when making both components from scratch. But the result is incomparably better, so much so that it might as well be another dish entirely.
Here's an easy, savory pie that's perfect for an on-the-go lunch. Ricotta, coppa, and salami give this delicious pie an Italian touch, and since the rest of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry, this recipe keeps the shopping to a minimum.
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Pasta e fagioli is a simple, hearty soup-type dish made with pasta and beans. Some of you may know this dish from your Italian relatives, friends or local restaurants as “pasta fazool.”
Everyone seems to have their own special recipe for pasta e fagioli, and this one is my family’s. This is the type of rustic Italian dish that my parents grew up eating -- "peasant food," meaning it was cost-effective, hearty and the ingredients were readily available.
Peasant food or not, pasta e fagioli will fill you up, warm you up and it makes a satisfying meal -- especially when it’s served with rustic Italian bread and a glass of wine.
This is a vegetarian recipe (and vegan if you swap out the Parmesan cheese), but many people add prosciutto or bacon to the dish for added flavor.
While giardiniera is traditionally a pickled Italian dish, chef Glenn Rolnick chooses to use it to describe his signature pasta dish that is a favorite at his New York City restaurant Carmine's. For a healthier version, skip the heavy cream and only use a ½ cup of cheese.
This is a dish that will have everyone at the party asking you for the recipe. Infused with Asian flavors from sesame oil and soy sauce, it has a touch of California as well, tossed with avocados and a raspberry-flavored vinaigrette.
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I can already hear the naysayers asking, "Why isn't your sauce red?" Despite being aesthetically challenged, this pasta dish is delicious, I assure you. I used some particularly ripe black olives that ended up giving the sauce a deep, rich flavor and also gave it a forebodingly inky color that, admittedly, gave me a bit of pause at first.
However, one bite and I was sold — the sauce coated the pasta perfectly and had a nice balance of flavors. Briny capers, tangy fresh tomatoes, herbaceous parsley, and a slight bitter finish from the olives — perfection. Your sauce will be redder than mine, though, if you're using different (or less ripe) olives. I used Gaeta, a popular table olive in Spain. Feel free to get creative.
Oh, one more thing: I'd go easy on the salt because there's plenty already from the capers and olives.
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Pasta is one of my weaknesses, as is Mediterranean food. This combination is one of my all-time favorites. I love feta cheese, olives, and fresh tomatoes. This meal can be served cold or hot — as a light grab-and-go lunch or a refreshing dinner.