Pasta and beans is a tasty, traditional stew-like Italian dish. It is a hearty meal, which I love to make at this time of year when the garden is in full harvest mode. Using perfectly vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh crisp celery, aromatic basil, and of course lots of garlic – all from the garden – make this dish absolutely irresistible, healthy and nourishing.
For optimal flavor and nutrition, I use the ripest garden tomatoes I have available. The first step is bringing a large pot of water to a boil and dropping the tomatoes in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and allow time for the tomatoes to cool. At this point, the tomatoes can be peeled with ease. These are tastier and way healthier than any diced tomatoes you can get from can.
You don’t have to make the pasta noodles yourself. Any type of pasta you like will work fine in this dish, even rice pasta for those of you who prefer gluten-free. I have included my homemade pasta recipe, however, for those of you feeling adventurous. Also, I’d like you to see how easy it is to make homemade pasta! Tagiatelle are like fettucini, except a little shorter. I chose spelt flour for my pasta. You will need a pasta maker for this recipe. Have a blast!
Pasta e Fagioli
Makes approximately 4 servings
6 ripe tomatoes
Pot of water for boiling
5 cloves of garlic, minced
6 fresh basil leaves
1 celery stalk or celery heart
1 ½ cups (375 ml) pinto or kidney beans, cooked
⅓ cup (80 ml) fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons (30 ml) grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons (10 ml) sea salt (or more to taste)
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper (or more to taste)
6 cups (1 ½ L) of water
Small pasta of your choice or homemade spelt tagliatelle (recipe below)
1. Bring the pot of water to a boil. Drop tomatoes into the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Remove pot from the stove and drain. Let tomatoes cool before peeling and dicing them.
3. In a large pot, heat grapeseed oil on medium heat and add minced garlic. Brown garlic slightly, about 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Add diced tomatoes, celery, basil, and a teaspoon of sea salt. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
5. Remove celery and basil leaves and discard. Add chopped parsley, cooked beans and black pepper.
6. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add your choice of pasta. Reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked. Most of the water will be absorbed by the pasta, but some excess liquid is desired, as with a stew. Taste test to see if more sea salt or pepper is desired. You can sprinkle some vegan parmesan over top if desired (see recipe below). Serve warm.
3 cups (750 ml) spelt flour, extra flour on the side
¾ cup (180 ml) water
1. Pour flour onto work station in a well formation. Keep an extra amount of flour on the side for sprinkling over dough when it gets sticky.
2. Sprinkle small amount of sea salt over flour well (about ½ teaspoon, 2.5 ml).
3. Pour water slowly into well a bit at a time, working flour into the water gently with your fingers or a fork.
4. Once firm, knead dough for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle small amounts of flour onto work station and dough if it becomes too sticky.
5. Form a loaf and let loaf sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
6. Sprinkle small amount of flour over dough. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough. Cut small amounts and pass through the pasta maker at the setting which will further flatten the dough (No. 8 setting).
7. Lay pieces of flattened dough on flour-sprinkled work station to avoid sticking.
8. Pass all the pieces of dough, one by one, through the fettucini setting of the pasta maker. Lay pasta on flour-sprinkled work station. Once all the pasta is ready, add to your tomato and bean mixture to cook. If you would like to keep some pasta for another recipe, you can freeze the pasta. (Lay it flat, single file, on a cooking sheet and once it is completely frozen, transfer it to a freezer bag.)
¼ cup (60 ml) raw cashews
¼ cup (60 ml) nutritional yeast
1. In a food processor, combine cashews and nutritional yeast. Blend until powdery. Sprinkle over any dish you like.
This is just one of the many recipes you will find in my soon to be released cookbook, Cooking With Amore: 100 Vegan Recipes for Health, Well-being and Spiritual Evolution.
In the meantime, join me on my Facebook page where I share recipes and health-related articles everyday.
“Let me share my vision with you: I see a world without sickness, sorrow or mental disturbance in which we are living in perfect balance with abundant health and harmony. Reconnect with nature and your body will take care of the rest. This is the beauty of self-healing.” ~Dr. Ann Wigmore