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Monday, January 31, 2011

Soul Food

***You can also see this recipe on Lidia Bastianich's website!***

I think that term has different meanings for different people.  We all know the type of food commonly referred to by it (which I absolutely love!) but to me, soul food is food that warms my insides...food that brings me back to a happy place...food that evokes memories.

My mom has been making Pasta e Fagioli for as long as I can remember.  I remember my Nana's version of it too.  It takes me back whenever I eat it, and no one else's even comes close.

It's a shame my husband hates beans...but it doesn't stop me from making a vat once in a while.  That's what friends (and family) are for.  Come on over!

Here's my Mom's recipe - exactly the way she wrote it to me a long time ago.

Pasta E Fagioli
from Mom :)

1 bag (one pound) dry cannellini beans
1 cup prepared marinara sauce (here's my recipe)
2 smoked ham hocks
2 cups cooked (al dente) pasta of your choice...mine is broken spaghetti and ditalini
6 garlic cloves
Hot pepper flakes (to taste)....a couple of shakes
Oregano...again a couple of shakes
1 to 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.....just for flavor

Cover dry beans with water a couple of inches over the beans.  bring to a boil...shut fire... let stand for at least one hour to soften....throw water out...fill pot with fresh water (again a couple of inches over the beans)....add ham hocks, garlic cloves and oregano...let cook for 45 min...add tomato sauce, hot pepper flakes....cook for another half hr or until beans are tender...add cooked pasta and let sit for a few minutes for the flavors to blend...drizzle with olive oil before serving...enjoy!

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At January 31, 2011 at 9:44 PM , Blogger mrsgingergrl said...

Pasta Fagioli is seriously in my top 10 favorite foods, i love it - but PJ doesn't like it either so i never make it. Next time you have it, please, invite me!!! :)

At January 31, 2011 at 10:11 PM , Blogger Melissa @IWasBornToCook said...

Megan, Frank doesn't eat it either...next time you're invited AND you can take some home, too!

At February 1, 2011 at 9:07 AM , Blogger Carrie said...

I have never tried this but it's all my friends favorites. I am going to give it a try.

At February 1, 2011 at 2:43 PM , Blogger Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking said...

This looks so warm and comforting and absolutely delicious! What a wonderful dish. Thanks for sharing it and pointing me to your blog, Melissa. It's just beautiful!

At February 1, 2011 at 6:53 PM , Blogger Pam said...

This looks so comforting and delicious - I love pasta fagioli.

At April 29, 2011 at 9:38 AM , Blogger Sherri said...

Thank you! Perfect way to use my ham hock. Adding this to the meal plan this week :)

At June 15, 2012 at 8:17 AM , Anonymous Ammie said...

I'm so bummed that I used an un-smoked ham hock and didn't get good results. Next time I'm actually follow the directions and find a smoked one! ;)


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