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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Pasta con Fagioli

Pasta con Fagioli

35 minutes

Pasta con Fagioli

Free

We thought this rustic pasta and bean dish from Sicily would feel heavy, but the starches are lightened by tomatoes, rosemary and lemon. In Italy, dried borlotti beans (often called cranberry beans in the U.S.) are used. For weeknight ease, we opted for canned beans. Some producers label canned borlotti beans as “Roman beans.” If you cannot find them, use pink or kidney beans, which have a similar creaminess and mildly sweet flavor. Don't use cannellini beans, which are too tender. The pasta is boiled only until very slightly softened, then drained and rinsed to stop the cooking. It finishes cooking when combined with the beans and vegetables.

8 ounces campanelle or other short pasta
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 15½-ounce cans Roman beans (see note), drained but not rinsed
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 ounces Pecorino romano cheese, grated (1 cup)
Ingredients
  • 8

    ounces campanelle or other short pasta

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 5

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve

  • 2

    pints grape or cherry tomatoes

  • 1

    large red onion, chopped

  • 1

    large fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 1

    tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

  • 1

    teaspoon fennel seeds

  • ¾

    teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 2

    15½-ounce cans Roman beans (see note), drained but not rinsed

  • 2

    cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 2

    teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2

    ounces Pecorino romano cheese, grated (1 cup)

Directions
  1. 01
    In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente. Reserve 2 cups of cooking water, then drain and rinse with cold water until cool; set aside.
    See Demo
    09 27 18 Cpk 232
  2. 02
    Wipe out the pot and return it medium-high. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil until barely smoking. Add the tomatoes, then cover, reduce to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and have burst, about 5 minutes. Stir in the onion, sliced fennel and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
    See Demo
    09 27 18 Cpk 233
  3. 03
    Add the garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds and pepper flakes, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the beans, broth and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cover, reduce to medium and cook, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
    See Demo
    09 27 18 Cpk 241
  4. 04
    Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente and the sauce is creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. If needed, add the remaining reserved cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time to reach the proper consistency. Off heat, stir in the lemon zest and juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the cheese and additional oil for drizzling.
Tip: Don't rinse the canned beans after draining them; the starchy liquid clinging to them adds body to the sauce.
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Pasta con Fagioli

Get Ready to Cook

6

Servings

35 minutes

Tip

Don't rinse the canned beans after draining them; the starchy liquid clinging to them adds body to the sauce.

Ingredients
  • 8

    ounces campanelle or other short pasta

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 5

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve

  • 2

    pints grape or cherry tomatoes

  • 1

    large red onion, chopped

  • 1

    large fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 1

    tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

  • 1

    teaspoon fennel seeds

  • ¾

    teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 2

    15½-ounce cans Roman beans (see note), drained but not rinsed

  • 2

    cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 2

    teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2

    ounces Pecorino romano cheese, grated (1 cup)

Step 1 of 4

Cook the pasta

8
ounces campanelle or other short pasta
1
tablespoon kosher salt

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente. Reserve 2 cups of cooking water, then drain and rinse with cold water until cool; set aside.

Step 2 of 4

Cook the vegetables

3
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2
pints grape or cherry tomatoes
1
large red onion, chopped
1
large fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
½
teaspoon kosher salt

Wipe out the pot and return it medium-high. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil until barely smoking. Add the tomatoes, then cover, reduce to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and have burst, about 5 minutes.


Stir in the onion, sliced fennel and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Step 3 of 4

Simmer the beans

4
medium garlic cloves, minced
1
tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1
teaspoon fennel seeds
¾
teaspoon red pepper flakes
2
15½-ounce cans Roman beans (see note), drained but not rinsed

Add the garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds and pepper flakes, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Stir in the beans, broth and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cover, reduce to medium and cook, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Step 4 of 4

Finish cooking the pasta

2
teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
2
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2
ounces Pecorino romano cheese, grated (1 cup)

Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente and the sauce is creamy, 3 to 5 minutes.


If needed, add the remaining reserved cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time to reach the proper consistency.


Off heat, stir in the lemon zest and juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the cheese and additional oil for drizzling.

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Pasta con Fagioli

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CHRISTOPHER KIMBALL BY REGAL WARE 12" SKILLET AND 8-QUART STOCKPOT

This 5-ply professional-quality cookware is made in Wisconsin, will last for generations, and is the brand of cookware that we use here at Milk Street. Tools may not make the cook but top-quality cookware makes a much better cook.

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