Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta with Beans) is a very popular dish - and not just in Italy. Apparently it is one of the most googled dishes in the world. Here recipes from two Italian Michelin Star Chefs, who lead famous restaurants in Italy. One based in Lucca with Tuscan Chef Cristiano Tomei from Ristorante L'Imbuto and from Rome Chef Anthony Veronese from Ristorante Il Pagliaccio. Both Chefs and recipes transform a traditional peasant dish into gourmet experiences. Legumes such as beans have always been consumed in Italy since the ancient Roman times, in particular with pasta.
Cristiano Tomei - at 27 he opened his first restaurant on the beach of his native Viareggio; a few years later it moved to the center and finally to Lucca, where L'Imbuto received a Michelin star in 2014. For a few months it has also been found at Corteccia in Milan, a more pop but equally fun restaurant. On television - from "La prova del cuoco" to "Masterchef Magazine" - he was a judge on "The kings of the grill" and on "Cuochi D'Italia" of which he was also host. Since 2019 he has been Executive Chef of the Hotel Bauer in Venice and since 2021 of the Terraforte restaurant inside the Castello del Terriccio, in the heart of Tuscany.
Pasta e Fagioli - pasta and beans change shape depending on the ara or region of Italy: from Pisarei and faśö Piacenza - with flour and breadcrumb dumplings - to egg maltagliati from Emilia; from tubes with beans and mussels from Campania to sagne from Abruzzo. Not to mention the substantial additions: pork rinds, pieces of sausage and aromas that tell the story of the biodiverse panorama of Italy.
Pasta e Fagioli - Cristiano Tomei
150 g of 00 flour; 100 g of semolina flour; 300 g of fresh “Schiaccioni” beans from Pietrasanta; 300 g of dried pasta
1 bunch of sage; 1 clove of garlic; Chili pepper to taste; Extra virgin olive oil to taste
In a pan, cook the dried pasta, drain it and sieve it. Leave to cool and set aside. In the meantime, cook the beans in a pot with the herbs and sage for about 45 minutes, drain them, sieve them and leave to cool. Complete the filling by sautéing the garlic, chili pepper, sage and tomato paste, drain it and mix it with the beans. Make a dough with the overcooked pasta and flour, let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour. Roll out the dough, brush it with a little egg white and place the filling in the lower part of the strip, fold the dough in half and seal around the filling by applying pressure with your fingers, removing the air inside. Cut the ravioli with a round pastry cutter and spread them on a tray.
Steam cook for three minutes, placing the ravioli on fresh sage and seasoning with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Once cooked, serve with a few sage leaves, taking care not to break them.
Pasta e Fagioli - Anthony Genovese
The Il Pagliaccio restaurant opened its doors to the public in 2003 in via dei Banchi Vecchi, in the heart of Rome; by owners Anthony Genovese and Marion Lichtle. The fusion cuisine served at this restaurant tells the story of the chef’s life, blending influences from his experiences and travels around the world to create cuisine that combines Mediterranean flavours with hints of the Orient, something that is quite rare in Italy.
Here is the recipe for traditional Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and beans) from chef Anthony Genovese of the 1 Michelin star restaurant, il Pagliaccio in Rome.
1 pig's foot; 30 g Celery; to taste Parsley; to taste Extra virgin olive oil; 1 slice Lard; 1 Onion; 30 g Carrot; to taste Laurel
1 clove Garlic; 60 g Pork rind; 350 g borlotti beans
Preparation of Pasta and Beans:
1 pig's foot; salt; Extra virgin olive oil; Beans; Paprika; Chopped parsley; 320 g Mezze Maniche Pasta; 8 peeled cherry tomatoes
Sauté the vegetables cut into brunoise, the rind (previously blanched), the lard and the bay leaf with a drizzle of oil.
Add the beans and add water to cover. Cook over medium heat, once cooked, season with salt and pepper.
Recover half the beans with a little cooking water and keep them aside. Blend the other half to obtain a cream that is not too thick, pass through the chinoise and keep warm. Fry the garlic in a pan and when it is well coloured, add the paprika and chilli. Let the oil smell, add the rind cut into strips and the cherry tomatoes. Cook for about 30 seconds, pour in the beans and after a few seconds their water. Drain the pasta al dente and mix it with the beans. Pour the bean cream onto the bottom of the plate and place the pasta on top. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.