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Pasta e Fagioli

March 21, 2013

Pasta and beans.

A perfect example of rustic peasant food that can be found across the Italian country side, and it has made its way into our kitchen. We talk about journey’s back to Europe frequently, and Italy has been atop my list as of late. If this dish is any indication of what we can expect as we explore the region, count me in.

Pasta e Fagioli is a typically a simple dish of pasta and white beans, cooked together often with tomatoes. This is a slightly winterized version of it, adding sweet potato, spinach and bacon. A perfect cross between a stew & a hearty pasta dish.

pasta_e_fagioli

PASTA E FAGIOLI

Time: 1 hour

4-5 slices of bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup frozen spinach
1 tsp dried thyme
1 can of cannelloni beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups water
1/2 pound of dried pasta
Panko bread crumbs (optional)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook slowly until the fat has rendered. Remove bacon from the pan and drain off most of the fat. Add the onion and sweet potato and continue to cook over medium heat, until the onions begin to caramelize and the sweet potato is soft. Add 1/4 cup of water if it begins to stick. Add the garlic, thyme and spinach and cook until fragrant. Return the bacon to the pan and add beans, stock & water and bring to a boil. Once boiling add pasta and cook until pasta is al dente. Remove from heat and allow to cool before serving. Sprinkle each serving with bread crumbs for a little added crunch.

Enjoy!

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