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:
PASTA FAZOOL–OR NOT
- cooked spaghetti
- portobello mushrooms
- cannellini or navy beans
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.
#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?