Monday, February 21, 2011

Pasta Fazoo

One of my mother's favorite soups is Pasta Fagioli. Since she is of Swedish descent, and raised in Minnesota, her pronunciation of Italian words can be amusing, to say the least. When I was growing up, we always had a salad made of only head-lettuce with Wishbone Italian dressing. Except that she pronounced it "Eye-talian" which always drove me crazy. I'd say, "yes, I'd like some Eye-talian dressing from Eye-taly". She didn't think that was very funny.

Anyway, my mom calls Pasta Fagioli, "Pasta Fazoo" and I think it's rather sweet. It's the closest thing to Eye-talian I will ever hear her pronounce.

I was visiting my dad and step-mother several days ago and even though they live in the desert, and very close to Mexico (you'd think it would be warm there, right?) it was FREEZING cold. Definitely soup weather. My step-mother made Pasta Fagioli and it was very good. I asked her for the recipe and decided to make it for myself just last night.  I LOVE the changes I made and I am going to post the recipe here. It's not a traditional Pasta Fagioli anymore because I added zucchini and Eye-talian sausage, but it tasted so good to me that I ate THREE bowls full!  I am going to call my creation, "Pasta Fazoo".  Enjoy!

Pasta Fazoo

1/3 C olive oil
2 mild Italian sausages, casing removed (you can use spicy if you like, or add some crushed red pepper to taste)
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, quartered and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1lb cans Cannelini (white kidney beans)
1 1lb can plain chopped tomatoes (preferably Cento, which are San Marzano tomatoes)
3 C chicken broth
4 C water
1 C tubetti (small salad macaroni)
1 tsp fresh rosemary (dried is ok too)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (I like the flavor of dried here, better than fresh)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 C chopped parsley
freshly grated Parmesan PLUS the rind (get a small piece, grate it yourself and use the rind for the soup)

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add sausage and saute until no longer pink, breaking up sausage as it cooks. Add the onions, carrots, celery, zucchini and garlic and cook over low heat until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beans and tomatoes. Add the broth and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper and Parmesan rind. Lower the heat and cook gently, partially covered, until the pasta is cooked, about 15 - 20 minutes.  Stir in the parsley. Serve immediately! (don't eat the's just for fantastic flavor).

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