Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Foolish Pasta (Soup)

First of all, this is a soup - not a pasta dish. One of the reasons for the name. The other reason for the name of this dish was the mispronunciation of the real name of this dish "Pasta e Fagioli". We'd slaughter the Italian pronunciation and call it Pasta Fool or Pasta Fazool, even though the latter is actually a pretty decent way to pronounce the name of this delicious Italian soup. However you pronounce the name of this soup, or whatever you end up calling it, you'll enjoy a vegetable soup with lots of flavor, and some pasta, too.


1 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)

1 can stewed tomatoes, diced
2 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
up to 2 cups additional broth or water
1 can cannellini beans
1/2 cup small whole grain pasta
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp chervil
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp salt

4 Tbs shredded Parmesan cheese


Heat the olive oil over low heat in a stainless steel soup pot. Saute the mushrooms, onion, and celery in the oil oil until the mushrooms are lightly browned. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the Parmesan, to the sauteed vegetables. The pasta can be any kind of small pasta. I've added small whole wheat shells to this batch, but I've also made this with elbows, salad pasta, orzo, or spaghetti broken into one inch pieces. Add additional water or broth if the soup cooks down and gets too thick. Simmer until the pasta is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes. Ladle into bowls, and top with each bowl with Parmesan cheese.

Note: Instead of cannellini beans, I've also substituted red kidney beans, white northern beans, or garbanzo beans, essentially whatever kind of bean I had in my pantry at the time.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Have your family help you name some of your culinary creations. You'll come up with some fun names, and will also help the family want more of food that's good for them!

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