Gluten-Free Pasta e Fagiole
It’s important to use a gluten-free pasta that won’t fall apart for this dish. Andean Dream quinoa macaroni is a good choice.
- 1/2-pound dried white or borlotti beans, washed and picked over, soaked in 1 quart of water for six hours or overnight
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium or large onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
- 2 to 4 large garlic cloves (to taste), minced or pressed
- 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
- A bouquet garni made with 1 bay leaf, 1 Parmesan rind, 1 small dried red pepper, and a couple of sprigs of thyme and parsley
- 1/2 pound (1 cup) gluten-free macaroni
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
1. Drain the beans. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy casserole or Dutch oven. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until just tender, about five minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, the rosemary and garlic, and stir together for another minute until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomato paste, and stir for another minute or two, then stir in the tomatoes and add some salt and pepper. Cook partially covered for 15 minutes, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the mixture is very fragrant.
2. Add the beans, bouquet garni and two quarts water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer one hour. Add salt to taste (1 to 2 teaspoons), cover and simmer another 30 minutes to an hour, until the beans are tender. Remove the bouquet garni.
3. Read the cooking instructions accompanying the pasta you are using. The pasta will take a little longer, as the liquid is not going to be at a rolling boil, so plan to cook a few minutes longer than the instructions suggest. Stir the pasta into the simmering beans. When it is cooked al dente, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve, passing the grated Parmesan in a bowl.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Advance preparation: You can make the dish up through step 2 a day or so ahead. Refrigerate, then bring back to a simmer, stirring often, before continuing. The mixture will have thickened, so add water if necessary.