Normally I'm a pasta purist. I only eat white pasta because that's what my mom made and what my grandmother made. I've always tutted at my friends that they insisted that whole wheat pasta is so much better. But a few days ago one of my colleagues was saying how much he likes whole wheat pasta with just olive oil on it and how it is much more filling than white pasta. Since he tends to be pretty health conscious, I decided that I would try making something with whole wheat pasta. Then I got to thinking. Many of the popular pasta sauces were once upon a time "peasant food" and apparently the peasants also would have used whole wheat because the refined, white, flour was reserved for the aristocrats. So I decided I would make a hearty peasant pasta fit for the present.
Pasta e Fagioli (or Pasta Fazool depending on who you ask)
1 bag whole wheat pasta
150 grams of pre chopped prosciutto (or 6 slices of bacon cut into 1/4 inch strips)
1 onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
2 cans of cannelini beans rinsed
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 yellow pepper chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary
olive oil to taste (at least 5 tablespoons)
Salt and pepper
Parmesan Cheese to taste
Put a large pot of water on to boil.
In another heavy pot fry the prosciutto, onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add the rinsed beans, and the canned tomatoes to the prosciutto mixture. Add the chopped pepper and the rosemary to the tomato sauce. Add olive oil to the sauce until you get the desired texture. Allow the sauce to simmer.
Add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook according to the directions on the package
When the pasta is cooked, strain in and add the sauce. Top with cheese and more olive oil if desired.
This recipe serves 4, makes great left overs and cooks in under 20 minutes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10-20 minutes