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Pasta e Fagioli



400g / 14oz dried Borlotti Beans
Olive Oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 small carrot, chopped into small pieces
1 stick celery, chopped into small pieces
200g pasta
Tin tomatoes


Soak the beans and cook until soft - this will take 2 hours unless you have a pressure cooker, drain and set aside. Put some olive oil in a deep pan, fry the chopped onion, carrot and celery for a minute then add the crushed garlic. Mash the contents of the tin of tomatoes and add to pan. Take half the beans and push through a sieve, or pulp in a blender. Add the whole beans and the mashed beans to the pan along with about half a litre (3/4 pint) of water. The mashed beans thicken this dish and it brings out their flavour. Add salt and pepper. Now make sure you are happy with the taste of your mixture. Sometimes I add a bit of a stock cube, or a dash of chilli, or some herbs like basil or parsley. Bring to the boil so that you can add the pasta. Small pasta shapes probably work best. Maybe small elbow macaroni. However this is the chance to use up the remnants of those packets in the cupboard those shards of broken spaghetti you've been keeping. Break up the pasta you have left into similar size small pieces. Cook for another ten minutes to soften the pasta. Leave to rest for a while before serving.


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