Okay, so I think the Italians have the market on how to cook good, simple food. Most Italian recipes I make are fast, easy and full of fresh flavors…the perfect combo! One-Pot Pasta e Fagioli is one of those recipes, given to me by an Italian, and it has saved me for years! You know those nights when it’s dinner time, kids are clinging to you, you’re frazzled, and there’s literally ketchup and one egg in the fridge?
Instead of hauling them to the “golden arches” for a less-than-stellar dining experience, why not whip out ONE pan and a few items from your pantry, and create a yummy dinner in less time than it takes to get to the fast food! One-Pot Pasta e Fagioli is literally “Pasta and Beans in One Pot!” Super easy and ready in minutes, and with ONE…that’s right…ONE pan to clean. This super easy one-pot meal has gotten me through many desperate mom nights over the years!
It’s really not too difficult to create fast, healthy, one-pot meals! Make a list of your family’s favorite meats, veggies and grains. Then make sure your pantry is stocked with basics like herbs and spices, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and other healthy fats, nuts and legumes, and even dried or fresh fruits. A half hour before dinner time, saute an onion, add broth and a grain, cooked meat and veggies, simmer and watch the magic happen!
A lot of people are afraid to cook without a recipe. I’m almost the exact opposite! I rarely use a recipe, and cook more from what I love or what I’m craving that day, hour, minute. (This blog has forced me to actually write down recipes as I cook…it’s been a little rough at times, as Sarah can attest!) So, I challenge you to take a chance and cook from the heart. Don’t open a cookbook every time you’re in the kitchen. Pull out ingredients you love, throw them in a pot and see what happens! Who knows? The results could be magic.
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 cups homemade or canned chicken stock
- 1 15-oz. can stewed Italian-style tomatoes
- 6 oz. chunky pasta (farfalle, fusilli, gemelli)
- 1 15-oz. can cannellini or small white beans
- 1 bunch fresh basil (or 1 tsp. each dried basil and oregano...although it won't taste as good as if you use fresh)
- 1- 1 1/2 cups grated pecorino or parmesan
- Mince garlic and cook in oil for about 30 seconds.
- Add stock and tomatoes and heat until boiling.
- Add pasta and cook until al dente.
- Stir in beans and basil and heat.
- Stir some cheese in to pasta just before serving, and sprinkle cheese and extra basil on top.
*Add cooked chicken or prosciutto for a heavier meal.
*A salad or crusty bread to lap up the juices is all you need for a complete dinner.