This dish brings me lots of fond memories. Every year my dad would make a huge pot of the white style pasta fagioli & I would pick out all the beans, just eating the noodles. Our house would reek of garlic for days because he used a whole head to make it. Once, he used even more than that, giving it quite a kick.
When I asked him for the recipe, I think he might've been secretly surprised. It was never my favorite dish, plus it has bacon in it. I haven't had it for a few years, though, & lately I was craving the warm flavors. It's a great comfort food!
I skipped the bacon & used liquid smoke for extra flavor. Then I added broccoli for some greens because I love the flavor, color & nutrition it adds. We ate it for lunch & I was happy!
It's not exactly same as my dad's, but it's very close. I cut back on the garlic, but it's still has plenty! Bonus - our house didn't smell like garlic for days. :-)
Vegetarian Pasta Fagioli - White Style
1 T coconut oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz. elbow macaroni (whole wheat*)
1 cup vegetable broth
3-4 cups water
1 can navy beans (or other white beans), drained
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
1 head of broccoli, chopped
parmesan cheese, to taste
In a large pot over medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add garlic cloves and cook until fragrant and lightly browned. Add macaroni, vegetable broth, and 3 cups of water. Cook macaroni for about 7 minutes, or until almost done. Do not drain! Stir in beans, salt, pepper, liquid smoke and broccoli. Add additional water if the liquid all cooked off. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes or until beans and broccoli are heated. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve!
Note: Originally (as you see in the photos), I cooked the broccoli separately. When we heated the leftovers, the broccoli was stirred in & the flavors melded deliciously. If you only like crisp broccoli, I would keep them seperate, but for great flavor, cook with the pasta, as directed above.
*I haven't tried it yet, but I think this dish would be even better with whole wheat macaroni.