Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Pasta e Fagioli

From The Vegeterranean Italian Vegetarian Cooking, Malu Simões & Alberto Musacchio, Simon & Schuster, 2008.
To make the sauce for this pasta I soaked 100g dried Borlotti beans overnight. The next day they went into a saucepan with a little over 400ml water, 3 basil leaves, a sprig of parsley, 2 peeled garlic cloves, ¼ onion, a celery stick cut into half, and ¼ green capsicum. A little olive oil was added with some salt and the mixture was brought to the boil then turned down to a simmer and cooked until the beans were done—about 1½ hours. The vegetables were now all removed, leaving the beans in the liquid.

The tomato sauce was now made. I peeled two tomatoes, cut them into half and removed the seeds. They were now chopped roughly and added to another saucepan. Into this also went ¼ green capsicum chopped, ½ celery stick chopped and ¼ onion chopped. This was simmered for about 20 minutes until it had thickened a little. Salt was added to taste and the tomato sauce was added to the bean mixture.

The pasta was made from a flour and water mixture. I took 220g 00 flour, added a teaspoon olive oil, a pinch of salt and about a tablespoon finely chopped herbs: rosemary, thyme and sage. I now added about 100ml water bit by bit until the mixture had combined into a ball. It was kneaded for about 10 minutes, wrapped in cling film and rested for 15 minutes. Now it was rolled in a pasta machine until it was nice and thin—down to setting 4. It was cut into strips ready to cook.
A large saucepan of salted water was brought to the boil and the pasta dropped in. The sauce was also stirred and reheated ready for use. The pasta only took a couple of minutes before it rose to the surface of the water and was scooped out with a slotted spoon. It was added to the sauce, combined gently and served.
I enjoyed the bean sauce though would in future chop the vegetables that went into the first bean mixture and leave them in. Just using them to flavour the beans and then removing them seemed a little wasteful. The pasta was very lightly herb flavoured, though not too strongly. This was a pasta of only flour and water, and I think I do prefer an egg pasta.
Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔

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