Tag Archives: Parmesan cheese

Pasta e Fagioli (aka “Pasta Fazool”) with slow cooker variation

Pasta E Fagioli Recipe with crock pot variationWinter weather always makes me want something hot, hearty, and filling. If I can spend all day savoring the wonderful smell of something delicious, that’s even better. And if it’s chock full of healthy, delicious ingredients? Well, that’s just perfect. This hearty Italian peasant soup is good comfort food, or serve it in your good dishes for a first course at a nice dinner.

You can find a very well written article on cooking with dried beans here, or you can use my no-fuss crock pot method. At about lunch time, put your beans in your crock pot and cover with cold water. Put the lid on but don’t turn it on. Around 9 pm, drain the beans in a wire strainer and rinse them with cold water from the tap. Return them to the crock pot and turn it on low. (Use the “warm” setting if you plan to sleep in.) In the morning, you should have perfectly tender beans. If you want to watch the first batch to make sure you know how fast they cook in your crockpot, reverse this. Put them in the cold water at bed time, and put them on low in the morning. Once they’re cooked, rinse them with cold water again in your strainer, and use them in whatever recipe you like. A 15 oz can of beans can be replaced with about 1.5 cups of your own home-cooked beans. I like to do a large batch and freeze them in about 2 cup bags for later use.

Pasta e Fagioli (aka "Pasta Fazool")
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Pasta E Fagioli This recipe is delicious. I have reproduced it exactly as I received it, but I will make some recommendations at the end. Make this a day ahead. I was somewhat disappointed with it when we ate it the night I fixed it, but by lunch the next day it was SO good! Also, it's got that magic combination of olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes as well as being a good source of fiber. Serves 8 Cooking Light Magazine 3/98
  • 1 lb. dried navy beans (See instructions)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup sliced carrot
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 9 cups water (or chicken stock)
  • ¼ teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary (or substitute a full Tablespoon of fresh- MUCH nicer.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 oz uncooked small pasta (elbow mac, mini penne, or small shells are perfect)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 3 oz fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (use the real stuff. You won't regret it!)
  1. Soak beans overnight and then cook them in a pot of water until they are almost soft. (About 1 hour.) Or substitute four 15 oz cans of beans.
  2. Heat oil in pan over medium heat until hot. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender.
  3. Add garlic and cook another minute.
  4. Add tomatoes. Once they start to bubble, cover the pot and reduce heat to low.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add beans, water or stock, Ancho powder, and bay leaf. Simmer for 50 minutes.
  7. Add oregano, thyme, rosemary, and 2 garlic cloves; cover and simmer 25 minutes or until beans are tender. Discard bay leaf.
  8. Puree about 2 cups of the soup and return it to the pot.
  9. Add pasta. Cook about 7 minutes more or until pasta is done.
  10. Stir in parsley and black pepper just before you take the pot off the stove, and garnish with the Parmesan cheese.
If you prefer to cook your soup in the slow cooker, cook it for approximately 4 hours on low. I like to use mixed beans for this recipe, although it's traditional to use only white beans. I occasionally throw in some browned Italian sausage, for variety, but I believe this is also not traditional.


Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle SoupToday I was on the mom side of the “your kid is sick” call from the school for the very first time. It made me remember how the time between when they called your mom and she came to get you was an eternity, no matter how long it actually took. We are fortunate enough to live very near the school, so I actually got to the clinic before his teacher came back with his bookbag so we could go. Naturally I hugged my sick baby while we waited, which prompted all the other sick kids at the clinic to come watch us with huge, sad eyes. I couldn’t gather them all up and mother them, but I hope their own mothers arrived quickly to love on them.

Once home, there is only one thing to do when everyone is feverish and cranky, and that’s to whip up some comfort food. Fortunately, I just finished some chicken stock from my “Still Going” chicken recipe. So I was able to whip up some chicken soup in a flash!

Chicken Noodle Soup
Recipe type: slow cooker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Fresh, home made chicken soup that's quicker than going to the store.
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 4 ounces cooked chicken
  • 1 package egg noodles
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 4 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon dried onion
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated, for garnish (optional)
  1. In a stockpot over medium heat, add the carrots, celery, garlic, and onion to the stock and simmer until warmed through and the carrots are beginning to look bright and "cooked." (About 10-15 minutes.)
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook until the noodles are done. (Usually whatever it says on the package directions, but maybe a minute or two longer, depending on how hot your soup is when you add them. Probably 7-10 minutes.)
  3. Serve with crusty bread and grated parmesan cheese.
Want it even faster? Skip the fresh carrots and celery and stir in an 8 ounce package of frozen peas and carrots for the last 5 or 6 minutes of cooking time. You will have fresh soup in approximately the time it takes to boil your noodles.