Pasta e Fagioli

30 Apr

This upcoming week is crazy busy for us. Alex has to create, administer and grade final exams for all of his classes. And I have to bake like 30 dozen cookies for my friend Kim’s wedding (so exciting!).  Not to mention its hockey playoff time and Alex spends every free waking moment watching the games.  Then there is the dentist appointments, my brother’s school play, so on and so on.

For weeks like this, I try to make something that is quick, easy and will be good to keep as leftovers in case we don’t have time to make dinner.

Pasta e fagioli, “pasta and beans” in Italian and pronounced as “pasta fazool” by Americans, is a rustic peasant dish that epitomizes Northern Italian cooking.  Although it is typically served as a soup, it can be prepared a variety of ways.  This recipe of baked pasta and beans, or Pasta e Fagioli al Forno, is hearty and delicious. Plus it takes less than a half an hour to make. Winning!

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Pasta e Fagioli al Forno
6 servings

Béchamel sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, sliced
1 cup Asiago cheese
1 12 oz can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups fully cooked smoked sausage, diced
3 cups pasta, cooked al dente (I used ziti)

  1. While preparing the béchamel sauce, add garlic and shallots to the butter before creating the roux. Continue to make sauce as instructed.
  2. Once sauce is finished, add cheese and stir until melted.
  3. Add cooked pasta, broccoli, beans and smoked sauce. Mix well.  You could also substitute the sausage for cooked pancetta or bacon.
  4. Transfer pasta into an oven safe dish and bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Garnish with extra cheese if desired.
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