I know yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, but we had Italian anyway.

I told everybody (Charlie and visiting #4 daughter) it was Pasta Fazool, because it was pasta and beans (and mushrooms, which makes it Pasta Fazool con Fungi, or something, I guess). Back when I was writing a daily food history column for World Wide Recipes, I wrote this on February 12, 2008:

This is my new food for this month.  I don’t know why I suddenly got a craving for a dish I’d never eaten before, but I did.  I’d heard about pasta fazool in my youth, from a couple of “novelty” popular songs and probably from Chico Marx, but I had never, to my knowledge, eaten it.  I found out it’s one of those foods that originated as a peasant dish, and so has no absolute recipe.  “Pasta fazool” is a corruption — or possibly a legitimate variant pronunciation — of pasta e fagioli:  pasta and beans.  Pasta fazool always contains some kind of small pasta (macaroni or, in a pinch, broken spaghetti) and beans, usually small white ones like cannellini or, because I didn’t have cannellini and I did have navy beans, navy beans.  It also has olive oil, garlic, onion and spices.  It might or might not have tomatoes or tomato sauce in it.  It might be a brothy soup, or it might not be soup at all.  Mine wasn’t soup, but I’ll bet a soupy version would be good.

So last night, we had this:


  • cooked spaghetti
  • portobello mushrooms
  • cannellini or navy beans
  • pesto

Dice the mushrooms and fry in dry non-stick pan until they toast. Add some beans with juice and heat. Add pesto and heat gently to keep from melting the cheese that’s in it. Toss with spaghetti.

Very tasty.

#4 daughter and I like our spaghetti long, so we can twirl it onto our forks. Charlie likes to cut his into little pieces. So I guess he can truthfully claim to have had Pasta Fazool and we can’t. Like I care.


writing prompt: Does your main character like to cook/eat to celebrate any particular non-official holiday? If so, what?