Pasta y Fagioli, Good Food on a Budget?

21 Apr

Okay, I love pasta y fagioli.

And I mean, I love it.

Some people would call it peasant food…but let’s all be clear about it..the farmers always ate

( in my humble opinion) the best food.

Fresh vegetables, fresh eggs, good grains and fresh, well sourced meat.

And when you are on a budget, this is a great dish.

The farmer’s wife knew how to stretch a dollar by using all that was in the fridge or the cold cellar.

We somehow lost this ability, thanks to Visa and American Express.

We do not have the money this month, we’ll use the money we will get next month to pay for this month food and so on and so on…I know, it is sometimes not to be avoided. ( I know by experience, trust me)

So, let’s just say …end of the month is coming and your fridge is looking tired, but going to the supermarket is daunting, because you actually want to stay within your budget.

Let’s see what we have in the fridge and in the pantry:


white dried beans, ok, soak them overnight

freshly soaked and rinsed

freshly soaked and rinsed





2 tomatoes

2 carrots ( leftover from the barn)

1 celery root, wanted to make soup, but did not

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

2 little onions

a box of baby spinach

hot red peppers in olive oil


It looks like a pasta y fagioli dinner.

Now, you wake up to soaked beans and a sore throat…even more reason to make a hot ( like spicy) stew, that will burn all the bacteria off, that make your throat hurt.

After the beans have been soaked over night, rinse them and put them in the slow cooker.

Add all the veggies except for the spinach.

veggies in the slow cooker

veggies in the slow cooker


Don’t add the penne just yet.

Salt and pepper well and pour water over until almost covered.

Cook on high for about 4 – 5 hours.

Then add the pasta and once the pasta is almost cooked , add the spinach and turn off…spinach does not need to cook, just fold it under and it will be done.

pasta y fagioli, my version

pasta y fagioli, my version


Before serving, add the basil and a bit of freshly grated cheese, if you have…or the one in a box

( yes the one, that has more wood shavings than cheese, that should work, too).

Great dinner, 10 minutes prep time ( without the soaking of the beans).

It is cooked by itself, all you have to do is set the table and eat it.

Pasta y Fagioli or peasant food, my kind of food.

Mr. Pia is not that crazy about it, but of course not, he is not like his wife, a farmer at heart.

See, if you like it and try this at home.

And no animals were hurt making this dish…



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