Wish Upon A Dish: Pasta e Fagioli al Forno

September 27, 2013

Pasta e Fagioli al Forno

I had an idea for a pasta dish based on one of my favorite soups, Pasta e Fagioli.
There are three ways to go about making this dish. Leftover beans, pork and greens, leftover soup of the same name and from scratch.

This dish is loaded with flavor, moist with both tomato and bechamel sauces. This was yummy as well as extremely healthy, diappropriate and will make enough for 6 solid servings.

I know your family will love it.

Pasta e Fagioli al Forno
serves 6

Notes: You could use two cans of a good quality condensed bean and bacon soup (with two cans water) to sub for ingredients 2 thru 9.

* 2 cups dry tri-color penne
* 1 can V8 vegetable drink
* 1/2 white onion, chopped
* 3 slices bacon or pancetta, uncut
* 1 large carrot, grated
* 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or 1/2 dried
* 3 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1 can any kind of small beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 bag or box frozen chopped greens (spinach, collards, chard, mustard), defrosted and squeezed dry
* Olive oil
* Salt & pepper
* Hot red pepper flakes
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 tablespoon flour
* 1 cup milk
* 2 ounces Fontina cheese
* 1 ounce Romano cheese
* Grated mozzarella (optional)

First we have to make the soup.
Saute the bacon, onions, carrot and garlic in a drizzle of olive oil. Remove the bacon when cooked, reserve.
Add V8, rosemary, thyme and beans (or cans of soup and water). Simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the stems of herbs and puree soup. Add dry pasta and simmer on low, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Mix in the greens and adjust seasoning.

Prepare a baking pan (butter or spray) and use a large spoon to add the pasta mixture.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and whisk in flour. Cook for 1 minute. Add milk and whisk till it thickens. Add Fontina and Romano cheeses and stir till melted. Pour over pasta and sprinkle mozzarella and bacon on top.

Bake, covered, for 30 minutes at 350° and uncovered another 15 minutes. Place under broiler for 5 minutes to toast the cheese.

Serve with extra Romano cheese and a light Italian red.

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