30 Minute Pasta e Fagioli (Member Recipe)
September 13, 2011
Growing up, I was what one might charitably call a bit of an odd kid. My favorite television show wasn't Sesame Street. Oh no! It was a toss up between Bob Ross' The Joy of Painting and PBS' Great Chefs. And my favorite food? My grandmother's pasta e fagioli. At the time, this bean and pasta bean dish wasn't really considered kid food. But I loved it--and that settled that.
Since going gluten-free about three years ago, I haven't eaten pasta e fagioli. Why? I'm finicky about the pasta part of pasta e fagioli. Of course it can be made with any kind of pasta. Of course it can. But when a dish is inextricably linked to childhood, you want it the way you remember. Period. And my grandmother made pasta e fagioli with ditalini--which are these little pasta tubes that are just perfect for pasta e fagioli and other soups. Without ditalini, pasta e fagioli just didn't taste right to me. For a long time, there wasn't a gluten-free version of ditalini. So I didn't make it. Silly, right?
Then the other day magic happened. I saw a box of DeBoles "Kid's Only*" Tubettini. This pasta is as close to gluten-free ditalini as I've seen. Close enough that I quickly grabbed a box off the shelf for one reason: it was time to make pasta e fagioli!
Of course, I wanted to make my grandmother's pasta e fagioli and discovered something of a family secret: my grandmother was a bit of a semi-homemade cook. YES! Long before Sandra Lee, my grandmother used shortcuts to get dinner on the table. And who can blame her? With six kids to feed, making a quick version of pasta e fagioli just made sense. So instead of soaking beans and making a special sauce, she used canned beans and leftover thinned tomato sauce.
While recreating her recipe, I found that . . . (to read the remainder of this article, please log in below.)