Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pasta Fazool!

Dean Martin had a pop hit in the early 1950's that became his signature song. In 1987 Norman Jewison used the song repeatedly in his hit movie, Moonstruck. The song to which I refer is, "That's Amore."

In that song, one line reads, "When the stars make you drool just like pasta fazool,
That's amore."  

Pasta fazool is Sicilian slang for  pasta e fagioli, an Italian farm wife soup that features both beans and pasta. Often, the soup is prepared as a meatless dish, but the version I will post in this blog entry is decidedly full of chicken.


Four chicken thighs
Two small onions diced
Two ribs celery rough chopped
One large carrot sliced in bite size pieces
Four baby bella mushrooms chopped
28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
19 ounce can cannelini beans
Double handful baby spinach
2/3 cup dry ditalini or other small pasta
Five garlic cloves sliced
Six cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
salt and pepper

Secret Ingredient 

2 inch cube Romano cheese rind


Season and brown the chicken thighs.

Add all the other ingredients except the spinach and pasta to a slow cooker. Crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Submerge the browned thighs in the raw soup.

Set the slow cooker to low and simmer for six to eight hours. After cooking, taste test the soup and add salt as needed. Once well seasoned, remove the skin and bones from the chicken thighs and discard. Tear the meat into bite size chunks and return to the crock. Add the spinach and the pasta and continue to simmer until the pasta is al dente, about 20 to 30 minutes more.

Serve with crusty bread and a simple salad.

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