Is this not a thing of beauty? A bowl of cranberry (Borlotti) beans with homemade pasta in a sauce of bean broth, chicken broth, and vegetables. It's moist and delicious but not at all soupy. A perfect balance of beans, pasta, and inspiration.
The variations on pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) are endless. I have yet to meet one that I haven't liked. You just know it was created to deal with leftovers. Or to feed a crowd on a budget.
The "Il Nostro Caro Angelo" in the title refers to a Lucio Battisti song. The poor Italians always have to suffer through my enthusiasm for their pop music. It's fun until I've had a few and insist on singing. Here's a nice version by Mina.
Out of season, canned tomatoes are fine. Angelo had found a can of cherry tomatoes and these were great. Along with the onions and garlic, he sauted a lot of celery.
One of my favorite people, Sarah Londsdale, played photographer for the day. Most of these photos are hers.
You probably know about the salt. The Sicilia sauce was new to me. It's tomato-based and versatile. On a whim, I drained a cup of the beans and then added a spoonful of the Sicilia sauce and it was perfect. I think white beans would be just as satisfying, just different. Lots of people ask me for "recipes" and here's a new one: Beans and this sauce. Ta-da!
Exact measurements aren't possible. Angelo added the cooked pasta to the soffritto and then added the beans. Then he'd add more beans and more pasta until the combination was just right.
My favorite commercial pasta is Baia Pasta. Owner Renato Sardo also dropped by with his daughter for the big dish.
These are Angelo's notes. If you've made pasta e fagioli before, this should be fairly straightforward. If you haven't, don't hesitate to download our Pasta e Fagioli Manifesto, including the Baia Pasta version.
As if the afternoon weren't perfect enough, Angelo left me with some more of his pasta. Posso toccare il cielo con un dito.