Originating from Casa La Rooca in Calibria, South Italy, this dish is not to be mistaken with a popular Italian soup of a similar name which features cannellini or borlotti beans and short pasta. It is also not to be confused with the classic Genovese dish of spaghetti, pesto, green beans and potatoes. Pasta e fagioli fresche con patate is all about fresh ingredients, no canned vegetables allowed.
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 500 g green beans, trimmed
- 4 (600 g) roma tomatoes, peeled, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup packed basil leaves
- 4 (600 g) desiree potatoes, cut into 2 cm wedges
- 400 g spaghetti or linguine
- crusty bread and shaved parmesan, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place oil, beans, tomatoes, onion, basil, 500 ml (2 cups) water and a little salt in a large pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low–medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until beans are almost tender.
Add potatoes and cook, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent potatoes sticking, for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add more water if you prefer a thinner consistency.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain well, then add to the bean mixture and toss gently to combine.
Divide pasta among bowls, scatter with parmesan and serve with bread.
Photography by Anson Smart.
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2.