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January 25, 2016

Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)

Post by heartfoodie

Pasta e Fagioli is comfort food on a cold winter’s day.  Cook the beans (preferably dry, if you have the time, but let’s be honest) and the pasta in the broth to get this rich, thick and not too soupy sauce.  Very low in cholesterol, high in fiber, satiating goodness that tastes better the next day.


Sooooo… why is this good for you?

  1. White wine vs. cooking wine. Can we just.. talk about this?  The purpose of cooking with wine is to enhance flavours. Cooking wine is bad wine disguised by added salt. Why would you cook with something that tastes gross on its own? Seriously, take a swig.  Enhance flavours with a pleasant, drinkable, light white wine. Rant over.
  2. Whole grain pasta vs. white pasta. Brown pasta is whole grain and enriched with fatty clearing fiber. It has fewer calories, less fat and more protein than white pasta. I like the fiber rich pasta like the Primo GrainWise or Catelli Smart brands; they taste delicious like regular white pasta.
  3. Beans. Get your fiber on with some beans! Added to the fiber rich pasta, this will help reduce harmful LDL cholesterol. They are also great for your digestive system and lessen the risk of stroke.

Skip ahead to the nutritional facts and printer-friendly version of this recipe.


Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp diced pancetta
1 diced onion
2 diced carrots
2 smashed garlic cloves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 fresh rosemary sprig (or 1 tsp dried)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz. can rinsed, cannellini beans
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup ditali or elbow pasta (fiber rich)
grated Parmesan cheese (garnish)
chopped fresh parsley (garnish)


8 Easy Steps (Instructions):

Step 1: Heat up olive oil over medium-high in a medium sized pot.

Step 2:  Add pancetta and cook until fat is rendered. Approximately 5 minutes.

Step 3:  Add onion, carrots and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Approximately 3-5 minutes.

Step 4:  Add white wine and scrape off any brown bits at the bottom of the pot. Cook until white wine has evaporated.

Step 5:  Add tomatoes, beans, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and broth.

Step 6:  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook with the lid off for 15-20 minutes.

Step 7:  Add uncooked pasta directly into the pot and let it cook until al dente.

IMG_5836

Step 8: Remove thyme and rosemary stems and bay leaf. Serve with warm toasty bread (light rye for heart health) and top with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Enjoy! Nutritional facts and printer-friendly version of this recipe here.