Posted tagged ‘pasta’

pasta fazool

April 18, 2010

I can’t cook but I try.  I’ve always liked that song That’s Amore,  Have you ever wondered what is meant by the lyrics that go “when the stars make you drool just like pasta fazool”?

There are many recipes for pasta fazool, which the older generation of Itallians called pasta e fagioli.  It’s a soupy dish, although some versions are a bit thicker.  It’s largely vegetarian but there are a few recipes that call for meat.

So what distinguishes pasta fazool from, say, bean soup?  For one thing, the beans should be white.  And the pasta should be small, like elbow macaroni.  Other ingredients include olive oil, garlic, onion, spices, and tomatoes.  It’s a peasant dish that utilizes an economical source of protein, and definitely a comfort food.  I’m going to make some today.

Creative Cooking?

January 8, 2010

I read somewhere that in these tough economic times one can save money by using ingredients on hand, rather than thinking up a recipe and then going to the store to purchase what we need. I have become better at doing this, and have come up with some unique dishes.

The other niught, I tossed cooked whole wheat penne pasta with ground hazel nuts and poppy seeds. These were topped with a commercial spaghetti sauce and parmesan. It was very good.

The vegetable I cooked was parsnips. I love parsnips, even though my taste is not shared by everyone. They are good cooked half and half with carrots, which are closely related. My New Zealander friend says both vegetables are equally popular in his country.

Parsnips have been grown for centuries, and before the introduction of the potato, were the most popular starchy root vegetable among early settlers to the North American continent, having been brought over from Europe. There are even wild parsnips that escaped from early cultivation. During Lent in medieval times, parsnips substituted for meat, even though they taste nothing like meat. They do have a satisfying, heavy quality. And having been frosted, they are slightly sweet and very delicious. Try them!