Hearty Pasta Fazool

The cooler air has really begun to move in here in the northeast and has gotten me in the home style comfort food mood, which means I have been cooking up a storm! Mostly I have been making dishes calling for tomatoes so I can use this fresh fruit which has been pretty prolific in our garden over the past few weeks. Today it is rainy and kind of cold, so I decided to whip up a pot of the hearty Italian soup, Pasta Fazool.

I've made Pasta Fazool before but with canned tomatoes. But let me tell you that after making this soup with fresh tomatoes it is clear that the difference between the two are miles apart! The fresh tomatoes add another dimension to the soup's flavor and it is a knockout! I used about 5 or 6 tomatoes of varying sizes for this dish. To prepare the fresh tomatoes, I cut a cone around the stems so to remove them and then dropped the tomatoes into boiling water. In about 3 to 4 minutes the tomato skins began to split at which point I removed them from the water using a slotted spoon. They were then placed on a dish to cool before peeling off the skins.

While the tomatoes were cooling, I sauteed in a large pot with a bottom covering of water...(or you could use oil if you prefer)

1/2 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped

Once the vegetables began to soften I added 2 cloves of minced garlic and let it cook for another minute. I went ahead and peeled and chopped the tomatoes and poured off the tomato liquid into a measuring cup, then slid the tomatoes into the pot with the other veggies. Enough chicken stock was added to the tomato juice to make 2 1/2 cups of liquid. It was poured in and brought to a boil and then the heat was reduced and the the mixture was left to simmer. 

Now for some reason when I think of Pasta Fazool I think of it having a type of creamy base, so I made a cheesy white sauce in a separate pot to add to the soup. To do this 2T of butter was melt down and then 2T of flour was added to create a roux. Then a cup of milk was slowly poured in while stirring the mixture until it thickened and bubbled. Italian cheese like Locatelli, Asiago, Parmesan, Romano, or even a mixture of these cheeses, was grated into the white sauce and stirred until melted. I used about a half cup of cheese. A ladle of the vegetable mixture was added to the white sauce, mixed and then the entire pot of white sauce was poured back into the pot containing the vegetable mixture. At this time the pasta was tossed in. I used cellentani but you could add any type of pasta you wish. The pasta cooked in the vegetable mixture for roughly 9 minutes and then one can of the cannellini beans was added. Now since I am a big Goya fan I like to add a packet of Sazon without Annatto which comes in a box, along with one packet of Goya's ham flavored broth. The soup simmered for another five minutes or so to heat through the beans and finish cooking the pasta.

The Pasta Fazool was garnished with shredded Italian cheese and fresh parsley.


1/2 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb tomatoes canned or fresh, chopped with the juices reserved
enough chicken broth to add to the tomato juice to make 2 1/2 cups of liquid
2 T butter
2 T All-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup Italian cheese of your choice
10 oz. dried pasta
1 can cannellini beans
I pkg Goya's Sazon without Annatto
1 pkg Goya's ham flavored broth
Garnish with Italian cheese and fresh parsley

Another weekend is closing in fast and it is going to be a busy one for us. Football games, yard sales, even a chili cook off will be filling our time over this last weekend of September!



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