Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli is peasant food – or what my Italian grandmother simply calls “pasta and beans.” I made this version with onions, chard, fresh parsley & basil, elbow macaroni, pink beans, and cheese. I prefer a nice sharp pecorino Romano cheese, but any Italian type grating cheese will work and even cheddar will do in a pinch.


Pasta e Fagioli

  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 bunch fresh chard, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. cooked elbow macaroni (I use gluten free)
  • 1 28-oz can chopped or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp (or more) granulated garlic
  • 2 cups (or 1 can) cooked beans
  • 2 oz Romano, Parmesan or Asiago cheese
  • A handful of fresh basil and parsley, chopped (or a couple teaspoons of each dried)

Cook the macaroni. Saute the onion & chard in EVOO til soft. Add the chopped tomatoes and granulated garlic. Let it come to a bubble, then add herbs, cheese and cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the ingredients heat through and meld into a saucy, delicious dish!

Dietary notes: a healthy dose of protein and fiber; ♥ Vegetarian ♥ Gluten Free Option

Cost: About $2.10 per serving with gluten free pasta (I use Tinkyada rice pasta) or $1.75 with conventional pasta.

Summer vegetable pasta

Here’s one from the Five Minute Foodie page on Facebook in a more traditional recipe format. I used Tinkyada brown rice elbows (gluten-free), but you can use any pasta you like and any vegetable that can be quickly blanched. Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach or chard would all work nicely too (greens will need less time in the water – perhaps just a minute). You can vary the cheese and herbs as well. A nice, easy summer meal that’s just as delicious as a cold pasta salad the next day!

  • 1/2 lb. pasta
  • a few cups of zucchini or other vegetable, cut in bite-sized pieces
  • a plump, fresh tomato, cut in bite-sized chunks
  • large handful of chopped scallion tops
  • handful of chopped basil (and/or other fresh herbs)
  • a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
  • splash of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 oz crumbled feta cheese
Put the pasta on to boil. Add veggies during the last 2-3 min of pasta cooking time (less if using greens). Drain pasta and veggies, but leave a little wet. Throw them back in the pan or in a large bowl and add other ingredients. Toss well & serve warm. Serves 4.

Hints: Pre-cutting vegetables in batches is a huge time saver! Also, leaving a little pasta water after draining is a trick that “old school” Italian cooks like my grandma use to get a nice, light, sauce from all the melded ingredients. The bottom of the bowl will look something like this (and it will be delicious!) Grilled Italian or chicken sausages (I love Blinkski’s organic), grilled chicken, a salad and crusty wholegrain bread would all go nicely alongside.

Dietary notes: Gluten Free, Ovo-lacto vegetarian
Cost: $2.00 per serving (less if using conventional pasta)