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1.06.2010

Pasta e Fagioli

Tonight turned out to be one of those days where a quick meal had to be prepared. In fact, we had tickets to see an opera in HD at the movie cinema, set up by the MET opera. Has anyone gone out to see an opera? It is sure cheaper than going to the opera house and you definitely do not have to pay for parking. Oh I forgot! You also get to buy popcorn and a drink while watching the opera singers belt out their notes! What a deal. Here is a snippet of a song we heard performed tonight. I sang this piece back in college being a coloratura, but I am more of a lyric soprano now.


I know many people have heard me mention all day that I wanted minestrone, minestrone, minestrone, but at the end, I ended up preparing pasta e fagioli, or otherwise known as pasta and beans. As I looked at different recipes and ideas, I knew I was heading more towards a heavy beans and pasta dish than a broth-based soup. I remember ordering Pasta e Fagioli at Olive Garden often, but then I was confused. Their recipe was more broth-based. As I looked up definitions of both minestrone and pasta e fagioli, I knew there was a difference, and my recipe surely needed to be different. From what I read, minestrone is a hodgepodge of items thrown in a tomato-based broth, whereas pasta e fagioli was heavy on the pasta and beans.

Have you ever craved something and you prepared and it did not turn out exactly how you imagined? Thank God this is not what happened to me. I tried different ingredients and spices and PRESTO, my pasta e fagioli recipe turned out scrumptious!

I think I have mentioned before that I tend to be intimidated when it comes to preparing soups or stews. I grew up eating all kinds of delicious and flavorful soups created by my mother. I have also eaten many flavorless soups outside of my home. My mother does not document her recipes, but manages to make each soup the same way each time. My husband is not a fan of soups, as I have mentioned before but if I can pass it by him more like a hearty stew then I win, you know. This was the case with this dish. We both ate 2 bowls of it and sighed at the end. There is nothing like a quick and delicious meal before heading out to the cold weather. Enjoy!

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Pasta e Fagioli

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serves 4

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
1 cup eggplant, seeded and diced
1 1/2 mustard greens, chopped
1 cup dentali pasta (Tube-like)
1 can Northern Beans
1/2 cup Boca meatless ground crumbles
14 ounces ground, peeled tomatoes
1/2 cup Pace Picante mild sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 Vegan bouillon cube
3 cups water
1 tsp basil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp celery seeds
2 tsp Herb de Provence (rosemary, thyme,marjoram,basil, oregano, and lavender)

In a medium pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Sauté diced onions, carrots, eggplant and red pepper for 5-10 minutes or until onions are transparent. Add garlic, ground tomatoes, picante sauce, beans and crumbles to vegetables and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, dissolve bouillon cube with 1 cup of hot water. Add to the pot and add remaining 2 cups of water.

Add spices from salt down to Herb de Provence. Bring stew to a slight boil so that flavors can combine. Cook for 10 more minutes.

Add 1 cup of pasta and cook for the remaining 10 minutes until pasta is cooked through. Serve and enjoy.

This will be a thick stew, but it you want more broth, add another cup of water and adjust salt for taste.


22 comments:

tommiboy said...

Oh my goodness!
thats food looks amazing! lol now im feeling hungry again. lol

www.thechromenote.blogspot.com

Vegetable Matter said...

I love the idea of including boca burgers in the soup -- that's why it looks so MEATY!

Anna said...

I absolutely love this soup, it looks yummy and nutritious, now... what's up with husbands not liking soups? Mine also looks a bit disappointed when he knows we are having soup for dinner. :-)

NOELLE said...

@tommiboy-Thanks! It was tasty. I kind of regret not having leftovers!

@Vegetable Matter-I know! I try to make it doable and attractive for the hubby.

@Anna-Thanks! I think men are just buily mentally for meat and potatoes. I think they feel like it won't be filling for them. My husband was content with his 2 bowls!

Scott K said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, not just for your great recipes, but your life story. Thanks so much for sharing.

wasabi prime said...

Hearty, lovely soup! Speaking of opera, I notice some movie theaters participate in a program where they'll broadcast performances of the Met. While it's certainly not the same as being there, it's a nice way to experience the opera, with a group, on a theater screen that's as big as a stage!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

That looks so hearty and delicious! Love the Boca burger in there. ;) Back in the day, when I was in choir, I was a first soprano, but I had the range of a coloratura. Now, I don't do any singing (other than to the radio), so I'm sure I have lost most of that range, but there are times I miss it! A very good childhood friend of mine went on to major in music (at SMU!!!) and is now a voice teacher. I was envious of her performances at SMU - she became SO good under their direction, I was sad I was a business major! LOL Anyway....your soup looks so craveable.

5 Star Foodie said...

Yum, this looks totally delicious, I would love to have a bowl for my lunch today!

Gelareh @ Orange Truffle said...

oh my that looks good..

Amy @ Simply Sugar and Gluten Free said...

I am with everyone else - this looks fabulous and using boca burgers was a smart move. I love seeing your variations on old classics.

Brie: Le Grand Fromage said...

mmmm, delicious looking soup! this would be so comforting right now on a cold night.

Megan said...

We love soup in our house - in fact, I made escarole soup tonight. Your version looks great!

Cathy said...

This looks terrific! My daughter will like the addition of Boca crumbles and since it's another below zero day in Minnesota, I could use another soup recipe!

Kelly said...

This looks gorgeous and delightfully yummy! Thanks for sharing and maybe helping me with dinner plans tonight! I bet the leftovers will be even better!

NOELLE said...

@Kelly-Oh I so wish I had leftovers! It was so delicious.

NOELLE said...

@Scott K-Thanks so much for reading!

@Wasabi Prime-Thank you!

@Tasty Eats At Home-Thanks! I bet you miss singing though!

@5 Star Foodie-Thanks! It is good.

@Gelareh-Thanks!

@Amy-Thanks! It is fun to be creative!

@Brie-Oh yes indeed. So good!

@Megan-HMMM, escarole soup! Yum.

@Cathy-I like Boca crumbles. It is something new I have been using. Makes you feel like you are eating meat.

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

This looks like a great soup, especially with wanting to warm up with all the frigid temps across the east and south.

Simply Life said...

Yum! this is one of my favorite soups and it looks just delicious here!

TeenieCakes said...

This Pasta e Fagioli looks beautiful, hearty and just plain good for you. I'm hungry just looking at the pics and reading the ingredients! Thx for sharing ;)

Dairy Free Betty said...

Hey Noelle, :)
You should come visit my blog today! You may or may not have won something!! :)
hehe

Health and Happiness said...

This sounds amazing! Love that you're using boca.

Shelly said...

Looks great! Nothing beats a simple, no hassle, yet delish weekday meal!

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