The Chew: Mario Batali’s Pasta E Fagioli Recipe
Mario Batali had the dish of the day today and he wanted something loaded with carbohydrates for all the marathon runners to enjoy. So he cooked up a pasta e fagioli, or as it is also known, a bean and pasta soup.
- 2 tablespoons pork fatback, or other meat like pancetta, proscuitto or seitan will work good for vegetarians
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped italian parsley (plus more for garnish)
- 1 medium spanish onion (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups cooked barlotti beans or kidney beans (rinsed and drained if canned)
- 2 cups dried pasta scraps from making fresh pasta (or broken dried fettucini)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Parmigiano (for garnish)
In a Dutch oven, heat the pork fat, or the meat of your choice, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the parsley and onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is browned and soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
Mario Batali pointed out there are beans and pork products all around the world that will work great, but if you would to make a veggie version of the recipe, just replace the pork products with extra virgin olive oil and some hearty vegetables.
He also said using canned beans will work fine. But as Daphne Oz pointed out, they may give you some flatulence.
Batali also said to try the recipe with pancetta, proscuitto or seitan for vegetarians. By putting the spices in first and letting them simmer, you will get a nice muted flavor, layered with the spices added at the end of the dish.
Stir in the tomato paste, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and beans and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the pasta and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Batali said any type of pasta will work. If you have some left over pasta, toss it in. Or you can buy pasta out of the box if you are in a bit of a hurry.
The pasta should be cooked thoroughly. You do not want the pasta al dente. It should have the same consistency as the beans in the fagioli.
Divide the soup among six serving bowls, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, garnish with parsley and grated Parmigiano, and serve.
This is something that is typically eaten as a first course, followed by something light. But Batali said eating this with a small salad would be very tasty. And it doesn’t have to be served hot. He said serving it cold will make it have a pit more of a porridge consistency.
But heating it up is going to make your house smell really good.