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Pasta e fagioloi, or as I knew it growing up- pasta fazool, is a satisfying and sensational Italian pasta and bean dish that’s as delicious and delectable as it is varied and versatile. Recipes have been restyled over the years by each person and place that have had the pleasure of preparing this fantastic food.  It can be served as side dish with some grilled chicken and vegetables for a marvelous meal, or it’s a own- sprinkled w/ some parmesan cheese and hot sauce as a zesty, impromptu lunch.  The carbs in the pasta and protein in the beans are great for runners, giving them vital energy and aiding in muscle recovery.  When prepared without the meat, it can be a low calorie, vegetarian friendly food.  And it taste great cold the next day, too.  It’s just a first-class food all around.

This is this recipe I grew up with, and every time I cook it, the sweet smell of garlic filling the kitchen and tremendous taste of tomato always remind me of my youth- when my Italian Grandfather used to make this for us when he’d stop by for a visit.  Now you can start making some of your own memories with this extraordinary entree’.  It’s as easy to make as it is delicious to eat, and that’s saying something, because it’s incredibly delicious.  Buon appetito.

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– 2 Slices of diced deli ham (2 slices of diced bacon or 2 of diced pancetta work well, too)

– Olive oil to lightly cover bottom of pan

– 2 to 3 garlic cloves (minced or finely chopped)

– 1 can can of cannellini beans (or small white beans) with juice

– 1/2 cup of water

– Pepper (to taste)

– 1/2 of 1 can of tomato sauce

– 1 and 1/2 cups of ditalini (or elbow) pasta, cooked al-dente

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1. Begin by boiling pasta water.  Cook pasta while preparing other ingredients, then set off to the side until everything is mixed.

2. Lightly cover a large, non-stick pan with oil.

3. Add diced ham and saute’ lightly for 5-10 minutes.

4. Add garlic and continue until garlic is lightly browned.

5. Add beans and juice, water, pepper and tomato sauce.

6. Simmer covered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Mix pasta and sauce, then let stand for 5 minutes.  Serve on it’s own or as a side dish with some grilled chicken and vegetables.

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