MealsFebruary-March 2014

Pasta e Fagioli


Pasta e Fagioli

Photo by Oksana Charla

The American term for this hearty Italian stew is pasta fazool. A wholesome, one-pot dish of tomatoes, beans, ground meat and pasta, this is wonderful served with gluten-free French bread and a green salad. Use any short cut of gluten-free pasta. For a vegetarian version, omit pancetta and ground chicken and use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. Garnish with dairy-free cheese if you’re avoiding dairy. This recipe is even better the second day but make the pasta just before serving.

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 ounces pancetta, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1½ pounds ground chicken or turkey
3 teaspoons dried parsley or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Italian herb blend
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
¼-½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups gluten-free chicken broth
2 (14.5 ounce) cans petite-cut tomatoes with juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 (16-ounce) cans red or white kidney beans or combination, rinsed and drained
2 cups dried gluten-free elbow pasta
⅓-½ cup grated Parmesan cheese or dairy-free alternative

1. In a large pot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and set over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook just until edges begin to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, celery and garlic to the pot. Sauté over medium heat until vegetables begin to soften but do not let them brown. Add chicken and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook until chicken is no longer pink. (Break up pieces with the back of a spoon as it cooks.) Add parsley, Italian herb blend, oregano, bay leaf and red pepper flakes and sauté briefly. Add chicken broth, tomatoes and juice, tomato paste and beans. Simmer covered 10 to 15 minutes.

3. In a separate pot, cook pasta in salted water until chewy but not soft. Drain. Add to stew if serving right away and serve with cheese on the side. Alternatively, ladle stew into individual bowls, adding a portion of cooked pasta and some cheese to each serving.

Each serving contains 415 calories, 17g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 83mg cholesterol, 729mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate, 10g fiber, 7g sugars, 28g protein, 18Est GL.

TIP Corn pasta is more durable than rice pasta but both get soggy if allowed to sit in warm liquid. Add pasta and cheese to this stew immediately before serving.