Pasta Fagiole (pronounced pasta fa-zool) an Italian staple:
1 box (1 lb.) of mezzi rigatoni (that’s small rigatoni) or small shells. Cook as directed on package when it’s time – usually 12 minutes
2 (8 oz.) cans of cannellini beans – drained and rinsed (if you want to use dry beans, soak them overnight)
1 (16 oz.) can crushed tomatoes-do not drain
(3-4) cloves of garlic
(1) teaspoons dry oregano
(1) Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (preferably Italian) or (1) teaspoon dried
(1) Tablespoon chopped fresh basil 0r (1) teaspoon dried
(2½) Cups grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (save ½ cup to sprinkle when serving)
Crushed red pepper to your taste (I like it hot!)
(2) Tablespoons olive oil
Sauté garlic in olive oil until soft. Don’t let it burn. You can remove it once the aroma is infused into the oil.
Add tomatoes, oregano, parsley, basil, and (1) cup of the grated cheese
(If you want to add a dash of red wine that’s fine too!)
Let simmer for 30 minutes then add the beans.
In a large pot boil the macaroni until it is almost done (al dente). Don’t worry it will soften more after you add it to the beans and tomatoes.
Once cooked, drain the pasta and add to the beans and tomato mixture, add (1) cup of cheese. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
Sprinkle remaining cheese (and crushed pepper). Serve with crusty Italian bread.
This freezes well too.
Balsamic Chicken Stew
1 lb. of chicken (boned and cut into 2 inch pieces)
(3) tablespoons olive oil
(1) teaspoon salt
(1/2) teaspoon fresh pepper
(3) celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
(4) carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces or a small bag of baby carrots
(3) cups of cut up potatoes
(1) cup vegetable stock or chicken stock
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
(2) tablespoons dried tarragon
Serve with egg noodles
Salt and sauté chicken until brown. Do not overcook. Set aside.
Sauté shallots, celery, carrots, and potatoes until brown
Add stock, vinegar, tarragon to vegetables, then add the chicken
Cook in a crockpot or stovetop for 2 hours. Season to taste.