April 29, 2012

Recipe: Pasta Fagioli with Leeks (Deconstructed)

"Deconstructed" pasta fagioli

At the end of the work week when I've run out of my "Sunday make-ahead" components and the freshest vegetables, or if I just run out of cooking energy or time, one of my fall-back dinners is some kind of pasta-bean combination and a vegetable on the side.  This may involve tomato sauce -- not a trigger for me, but I know tomatoes can be on the do-not-eat list for many GERDites -- but tastes fantastic on its own, using the greens and beans as flavoring.  Eat slowly, savor the complementary flavors, and enjoy!


I usually serve this as separate components that can be mixed on one's plate, or not, as desired.   The versatility is endless -- different pasta, different beans, different onion and/or greens, and you've got a new dish each week for a year!  I often grab a small portion for lunch the next day.   One sanity-saving trick for me in managing GERD is to find dishes I can easily divide up into small, GERD-friendly portions, and this is a good one.  


High quality pasta: I favor Barilla's high-protein line (the yellow box) for flavor and the protein value (the flour includes legume meal) but this is becoming harder to find.   Update:  I've switched to DeCecco, which is much tastier than Barilla!  I've decided I don't need to eat whole wheat products every meal -- a good white roll or baguette, white flour pasta, and white rice once or twice a week is "okay" with me and seems okay with my gut.   Barilla is a favorite brand of mine overall, and I enjoy sorting through the huge selection at Eataly (where the boxes are "direct" from Italy, in all-Italian language packaging).   In the photo example above, I'm using cellentani pasta, a durum wheat corkscrew style pasta with a good "bite."  DeCecco is also from Italy, and holds up very well in cooking.   The wheat variety is excellent!

Dried beans: I am cooking almost exclusively with my own made-from-scratch beans these days, buying them dry at the Cayuga Organics greenmarket stand, soaking for 2 hours and boiling for 1 hour.   The freshly dried greenmarket beans do not require overnight soaking, a big plus in organizing my meals.  These beans are so flavorful on their own they become almost a "spice" to the pasta.

Greens:  In this case, I used leeks, steam-sauteed in a bit of olive oil until softened.   Greens (kale, chard, bok choy, spinach, and so on) steam-sauteed with olive oil and fresh garlic work very well too.  


  1. It just occurred to me that there might be a purveyor of organic, whole wheat *fresh* pasta in your neck of the woods. You can buy the fresh pasta and freeze it, and it cooks in a flash.

    Although dried pastas are convenient, fresh ones can be more environmentally friendly (not shipped from someplace exotic) and a huge time saver!

    And you've just given me an idea for dinner...

  2. There IS! Eataly has all sorts of fresh pasta. I'd like an eggless version but you've inspired me to check! There is also a stand at the greenmarket selling fresh pasta…but I just have an issue buying from an egg/pasta stand that also sells chicken parts/chicken soup. It's just too much reality for me! :-/

  3. Yeah - that's a bit much! I believe the fresh ww pasta I've seen has been eggless, but it's been a while, so I need to check. Let me know if you find anything!