My grandmother and grandfather wre Italian, both from Genoa, Italy. They both came to America in 1908. My grandmother made Pasta Fazool for us all the time. The Pasta Fazool was eaten before the main meal. Pasta Fazool means “pasta and beans” and one of our family favorites.
I have been making my grandmothers recipe for nearly 30 years at least 3 or 4 times a year. My children love this soup! What is it called in your family – Pasta Fagioli or Pasta Fazool?
Today, I decided to make Pasta Fazool for my wife and I. This recipe makes enough to feed 6 to 8 people so we will be having it again later in the week. It actually taste better the second day.
16 oz. Great Northern dried beans
8 to 10 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil or cookng oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion chopped
1 celery stalk diced
5 carrots, chopped coin size
12 oz can whole roma tomatoes
2-3 sliced of diced & cooked prosciutto (optional) *My children to not like me to include proscitto, so I left it out of my recipe below.
Grated Parmesan cheese
Prepare the beans the night before making your overnight soaking.
Rinse your beans!
Bagged beans are often very dirty and contain rocks, and other debris so wash them multiple times until the drained water is no longer dirty. Look for rocks as you rinse the beans. After rinsing, put rinsed beans into a large cooking pot. Remember that the beans will swell, so use a big pot. Add water, oil and salt and cover for overnight soaking.
Cut your onion, celery and carrots.
Cooking Directions after Overnight Soak
Add onion, celery, carrots and bay leaf to pot and then place the pot on the stove. If you don’t have a bay leaf it will be just as good without it. I ususally start cooking early in the morning with plans to eat that evening, cooking low and slow. Cooking low will generally take about 6-8 hours. I start the termperature at 2.0 which is low heat and adjust as needed. The trick is not to cook too fast, that will break down the beans too quickly. Don’t let them boil!
Above picture I just added the onion, celery and carrots.
After about three-four hours I check the carrots. The carrots take longer to cook. If they are cooked, I then add the can of whole tomatoes, juice and all. I cook the tomatoes for about 30 minutes, then I will cut the whole tomato in smaller pieces. Taste and add a little more salt to taste, if needed. I continue to simmer until we are ready to eat.
Roma tomatoes added to soup
In another pot, cook your pasta, any small pasta shell or noodle will do. It will take about 10 minutes to get the water boiling and another 8 to 9 minutes for the pasta to cook. Don’t over cook, I will cook until al dente. We keep the pasta separate from the soup since my girls prefer it without the pasta.
In the last minutes before serving, taste and add seasoning to your taste. Serve hot, adding pasta to your bowl, you will also want pepper and maybe some grated Parmesan cheese!
Enjoy! Your gonna want seconds!