Friday, January 6, 2012

Pasta e Fagioli

since i will be heading back to new york city monday morning, i thought i would make a big pot of
pasta e fagioli ~ some for bob, some for the kelly family and perhaps some to freeze for future.
i had meant to bring my thyme in before the frost but, ooops!...there was barely a tablespoon of
useable leaves! (martha would be tsk, tsk-ing right now)

i have been inspired by many cooks, notably, craig claiborne of the new york times, marcella hazan,
julia child, the joy of cooking (i give this book to young brides as it teaches everything), martha stewart,
and even rachael ray.....when i share a recipe, it is probably one i found in a book or magazine, one that was given to me by someone and i added my own twist or was a "family hand down", it is not plagarisim for me to share these recipes, as they become public domain once they are "out there" such thing as copyright on a recipe!

pasta e fagioli means pasta and beans in italian.  it is a hearty soup that is wonderful served with freshly
grated cheese, a salad and good bread.  some recipes call for ham stock ~ i always use chicken stock.

here is the pasta e fagioli recipe i made tonight:

1 T. olive oil
3 slices pancetta or american bacon, chopped
1 sprig rosemary leaves
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
1 large rib celery, chopped in medium dice
1 onion, chopped in medium dice
1 carrot, chopped in medium dice
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/4 -1/2 t. crushed red pepper, depending on your "heat" preference
kosher salt and pepper
2 cans cannellini beans (15 oz.), not rinsed
1 cup spaghetti sauce mixed with 1 cup water
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup ditalini pasta
1/2 to 1 cup grated romano

1.  heat large pot on medium and add oil.  then add pancetta (or bacon) and stir, turning, to brown.

2.  add herbs, vegetables, garlic, salt and pepper.  cook, stirring, til vegetables are tender.  add beans,
spaghetti sauce with water, chicken stock and bring to boil. 

3.   add pasta and stir.  cook, stirring occasionally,  til pasta is cooked.  remove pot from heat 
and remove stems and bay leaves from soup. add grated cheese and stir well.  yield 3 quarts.

note:  i also sometimes add cooked loose italian sausage to this soup to make it even heartier.
         i usually make this the day before serving since we like it nice and thick.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year, 2012!

i cannot believe 2011 went by so quickly!  i have been in new york city with granddaughter, katie kelly,
every week and it has been such a grand time! i leave monday mornings and 3 hours later i am in riverdale.
then i return to harrisburg on thursdays (sometimes fridays if we are doing something fun).  little katie kelly
has captured the hearts of everyone in our family and those we encounter!
our daughter katie and her ray just celebrated their first anniversary!....i was going to blog daily/weekly
about the preparations for their wedding....i was also going to report on katie kelly's first year.....well,
the time went by and here we are!  i do, however, have many, many photos!, as i reminice i can
share these photos.  here is what our katie kelly looks like today at 16 months

the hat and scarf were custom designed and hand knit by daughter tina.  this photo was taken at
the new york botanical gardens where we went to see the train show.

we had a delightful christmas celebration.  we were all in new york the week before the holiday
and attended the STREB performance at the park avenue armory.  we then went to rockefeller
center to see the tree.  it was magnificent!  we went to brasiere and the girls had wine and we just
sat and enjoyed the illumination of the tree and other lights. christmas eve was number 1 granddaughter,
madeleine's, 18th birthday!  as i keep saying, 'time is flying by'!

the cookbook is still on the back burner of my brain......lately much of what i have prepared i have
photographed for future use.

the girls introduced me to and i have been enjoying perusing that site.  it's great for
good ideas and inspiration!

since it is january, i will be (like most of america) getting rid of lots of "stuff", purging and re-organizing.
i will be back in new york with katie kelly january 9th so i have to get busy as i only have a few days left!