So it's a gorgeous 85 degree, breezy summer day, the AC is off to conserve energy dollars and the living is slow. The kids have this wicked sense of entitlement when it comes to dinner so can't avoid that hook. What does one make on a warm, lazy, fan cooled day? Why a hot, steaming, cheesy bowl of pasta e fagioli of course ! Also known as pasta fazool and yep, pasta for fools around here. I knew I was on the right track when my son responded with "really?! you haven't made that in ages" Read: you've been depriving me of a major food group. So here's today's version since I'm short on the usual prosciutto or pepperoni I like to stick in there.
Rather than the usual cannellini beans I found just one can of small white beans and lots of red kidney. Just saute those onions and garlic, drop a couple of cans of beans in there, add a can of crushed red tomatoes, chicken stock (or water and bouillon like I just did), carrots (baby here) and season to taste. Red pepper flakes are awesome sauteed with the garlic and onions, but I have a 4 year old so no fun there. I know, I know, what about dried beans ! or a real carrot ! Well you go to the soup pot with the ingredients you have, not the ingredients you wish you have. So simmer that pot for almost an hour (well the carrots can take a while) add water as needed, taste, taste, taste, and then get that pasta in there when there's about 10 minutes to go. You could keep the pasta separate but adding extra stock the next day to the goo is half the fun. If you do cook the pasta separate the water makes a nice starchy base too. Well that's it, my ad hoc summer day, um, heavy soup. Don't forget the parmesan, crusty bread and salad or you're basically feeding the fam hot starch.
Next heat wave I'll tempt the kids with another childhood favorite, Pasta E Piselli. Just look that one up, I won't ruin the recipe for you like I did with the fagioli.