Pasta & Beans (Pasta e Fagioli)

I make this in a big batch (double the recipe below) and freeze it in portions of 2. Then I defrost it when I need to and serve with chicken breast, salmon fillet, or soya sausages sliced & fried with garlic & chilli. If you are going to freeze this, I would recommend you slightly undercook the pasta so that it doesn’t overcook when you re-heat it.

It’s a great meal to make at the end of the week as it uses up all your left over veg, even carrots that have gone a bit bendy & soft or veg that looks a bit worse for wear—it can all get thrown in!

Serves 4

60ml olive oil

1 onion peeled, chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped

1/2 tsp.—1 tsp dried chilli flakes

600g / 1lb mixed veg (such as sweet potato, potato, carrot, leek, celery, turnip, swede, fennel, courgette, peas)

3-4 pinches dried mixed herbs (such as rosemary, oregano, thyme)

Salt & black pepper

1 litre / 1 3/4 pints chicken or vegetable stock

80g / 2 3/4 oz brown pasta (any shape)

1 x 400g can beans (such as cannellini, borlotti, chickpea) drained & rinsed

2 bay leaves

To serve: fresh parmesan & 2 small ripe tomatoes

Method

heat 40ml of the oil in a heavy based pan over a medium heat. Add onion, garlic & chilli & fry for 3

minutes until softened.

Add all the veg (except the peas if using) and the dried herbs to the pan, season and fry for 3-4

minutes until they have softened slightly.

Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan with a lid and continue to fry for 10 –15 mins stirring

regularly until the veg has softened and are pale golden brown.

Add the stock, pasta, beans, bay leaves & peas (if using) then bring to the boil. Return to a simmer

and continue to simmer, covered for 20-25 minutes or until the veg are tender and the pasta has

absorbed some of the liquid & is tender.

Remove from the heat. (if freezing this recipe, allow to cool, portion and freeze)

Meanwhile,  in a bowl, mix together the parmesan, chopped tomatoes and remaining 20ml oil and

combine well.

To serve, spoon the pasta e fagioli into serving bowls, spoon over the parmesan & tomato mixture &

season.