One Pot Meals

My brother is staying with me, my husband Thomas and our daughter Anna for the summer and we need to cook larger meals to accommodate all 4 of us. Here is an example of a cheap and quick one pot meal that I like to make. It’s tasty, easily changeable to feed more or less people and is a wholesome, vegetarian, one pot meal.

Pasta Fagioli (or pasta and beans)

Serves: 4-6 with leftovers

Completion time: About 2 1/2 hours

Total Cost: € 7.50

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 Cups (300 grams) of  dried White Beans (or Cannellini Beans)      Cost: € 1

  • 5 Cups (1,2 kilos) of Diced Tomatoes, Fresh or Canned work well            Cost: € 2.50

  • 2 Large or 3 Medium sized Onions Diced                                                                 Cost: € 1 

  •  5-6 Cloves of Garlic Minced                                                                                             Cost: € 0.40

  • 1 Pound (~500 grams) Elbow Noodles or other small pasta                        Cost: €1.50

  • Grated Parmesan Cheese  to taste                                                                               Cost: € 1.10

  •  3-4 Cups (~720 to 950 ml) Water

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

  • Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Basil and other seasonings to taste

For under € 8 you can have a hearty, wholesome meal that will feed an army and won’t break your budget or your free time!

 

 

Step One:

Soak the beans. You can do this the night before or by using the quick soak method (from BonAppetit.com) :

“The quick-soak method is terrific when you don’t have time to let the beans soak overnight. Put the beans in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by three inches.  Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue simmering for 2 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain.

If you are substituting canned beans for dried, 1 cup of dried beans produces 3 cups of cooked beans.”

Step Two:

While the beans are soaking peel and chop the onions and garlic. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until translucent and then add the garlic and saute for one minute more.

Step Three:

Add the chopped tomatoes, water and drained beans, stir and then bring everything to a boil. When the soup comes to a boil reduce the heat to a simmer and season with salt, pepper and other seasonings of your choice. I used oregano, basil and garlic powder. You can also add some chili pepper flakes for a little added heat if you like.

Step Four:

Simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are soft, stirring occasionally. About half an hour before the soup is done heat water for the pasta and cook until al dente.

 

Serve the soup over pasta with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese and top with fresh parsley (optional).

Guten Appetit!

 

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4 comments on “One Pot Meals

  1. I love this dish! It was one of my favorites of all time when raising all the kids. I also like to serve it over ditalini pasta to make it a little more filling!

    • lvaletutto says:

      Yes, Richard wanted to help make dinner last night and this is what we decided on! I like ditalini pasta a lot with this one too but we had elbows on hand so that’s what we used. I like my fagioli soupy but you can add more or less water depending on how thick you want it to be. Enjoy!
      Laura

  2. dd says:

    Surprisingly, your paternal grandma -Lara Claire- made pasta fagioli like a casserole baked in the oven. She learned from her mother-in-law, your Papa’s mom, who immigrated from Italy at the young age of 18. I prefer your soupy version. Lovely post that brought back fond memories! Thanks. Auntie D

    • lvaletutto says:

      Aunt D,
      Thanks for the nice comment. I love to hear stories about Grandma, especially since I never got the chance to meet her. I too prefer this dish a bit on the soupy side. I can imagine though that it would be great as a casserole, baked with cheese on top! Perhaps I will try it this way the next time I make it.

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