Pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) is a common Italian food combination. It's usually made using white beans although you could use any kind to be honest. The beans add protein and make this a more filling dish while the lemon zest and rind add a unique flavour boost. It's hearty, refreshing and a makes for a great dinner or side.
Make Erin Gleeson’s lemony pasta fagioli
This recipe from The Forest Feast Mediterranean cookbook is tart, refreshing and most importantly: filling
Preparation time 5 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes
- 2 lemons (1 for juice and zest)
- 225g orecchiette pasta
- 1 tbsp butter
- 435g cannellini beans
- 50g parmesan, grated
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Very thinly slice 1 lemon into rounds (you can use a mandolin and leave peel on) and then into small triangles. Throw the triangles into a pot of boiling water and blanch for 2 mins. Remove with a slotted spoon. Keep the water boiling.
- Next add the orecchiette pasta to the water and boil according to package instructions (about 8 mins).
- While the pasta cooks, fry the blanched lemons in a skillet with butter and salt until golden (about 5 mins on med/low heat).
- When the pasta is done, turn the heat off and add can of drained cannellini beans to the pasta water (just to warm the beans). Strain the whole pot.
- Mix in a bowl the fried lemon, pasta, beans, parmesan, olive oil, juice and zest from the second lemon and salt and pepper.
- Serve right away with a bit more parmesan, salt and pepper on top, plus chilli oil, if you like it spicy. For a different twist, mix in sautéed greens, like chard, to the finished dish.