Pasta e Fagioli is Italian for pasta and beans and can be made with cannellini beans or borlotti beans and some type of small pasta such as elbow macaroni. There are many different variations of pasta fagioli. Some are more soup like, some are made without tomatoes, and others can be as thick as stew.
Pasta fagiloi which is pronounced as pasta fazool, has caused Darien and I (on separate occasions) to embarrassingly pronounce it as pasta fag-e-oli. It just reconfirms that we are truly meant for each other!
The version I chose to make it based off the kind I had at my best friends, boyfriends, parents house, who are Italian. That's a mouthful. Louisa prepared her pasta fagiloi with gnocchi, white beans and simple tomato sauce.
If you have some spare time on your hands, why not make the gnocchi yourself. It is not hard to make, and it tastes great. I found Mario Batali's recipe on the Food Network. You can find some photos of us (Darien helped) preparing the pasta below.
Pasta e Fagioli
Source: Krystal Ford
8 oz or 1/2 lb of dried white beans cook according to directions, or use equivalent in canned beans.
4 cups of chicken stock
1 can of plain tomato sauce
1 can of tomato paste
3 gloves of garlic crushed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
10 basil leaves (reserve 3 for garnish, chiffonade)
1 cup of gnocchi
salt and pepper to taste
grate Parmesan for garnish
toasted pine nuts for garnish
Sautee garlic in olive oil, add tomato paste, tomato sauce and one can of water, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, add in seven whole leaves of basil, white beans and gnocchi. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove large chunks of garlic and basil. Garnish soup with pine nuts, basil, and cheese.