The traditional Italian dish “pasta e fagioli” translates to “pasta and beans.” And that’s just what I’m cooking! Cannellini or white beans are the common beans used in this recipe.
This is a happy meal for me. We had just returned from Italy last year when I made this. You know how you feel when you return from a wonderful vacation, happy with the memories you have made, the places and people you have seen, and yet sad at the same time. This dish was created to bring a few favorite ingredients together, and remind me of some of the wonderful meals we tasted and times we experienced in Italy.
Beans play an essential role in Italian cooking and are grown throughout the country. Fava beans are a staple of southern Italian cuisine in Abruzzo, Puglia, Campania, as well as Sicily. In the southern region where my Italian family lives (Puglia and Sicily), they use a lot of favas, white beans, and cannellini beans. When we visited a farm in Southern Italy, they served us mashed fava beans that were so delicious. They looked similar to mashed potatoes in the bowl and were very flavorful. For a few fava recipes check out: The Favas Are Here, Life is Like a Bowl of Favas.
I dried beans from our garden this summer and used them in this recipe, however, I’ve also used cannellini beans when I’ve made this dish. So feel free to use your favorite beans, canned or dry.I was a little carried away with zucchini recipes this summer for the cookbook (to be published in 2019) so several recipes I made when we returned from Italy have been in the queue waiting to be published (thus the date on the chicken stock).
This is such a simple meal, yet satisfying and tasty.