Legendary Dishes | Pasta ai Fagioli e Pancetta (pasta with beans and bacon)

ITALY

Fasoi is the term given to dishes that contain a soupy sauce made with minced vegetables (soffritto), often containing peas and beans, served with home-made long pasta. In Veneto this dish is sumptuous with Lamon beans and bigoli or maccheroncini, served with the local Bardolino or Valpolicella wine.

  • 250 g fresh young beans, blanched in boiling water
  • 250 g bacon, smoked or unsmoked, cubed
  • 400 g ditaloni pasta
  • 50 g parmigiano cheese, grated
  • 30 g olive oil
  • Herbs (optional)
  • Spices (optional)
  • Salt (optional)
  • Pepper

Coat the beans with 20 g of olive oil, a tiny pinch of salt and a choice of herbs and spices. Modern versions of this dish call for chilli flakes or crushed cumin seeds, and for lovage, rosemary or sage. The choice is purely personal. Any herb will work. Spices needed to be added with a subtle touch. Cook the pasta. Fry the bacon until crisp in the remaining olive oil. Seasoning at this stage depends on the saltiness of the bacon. Stir in the beans, drain the pasta and add to the pan. Increase the heat and turn the pasta into the beans and bacon, about two minutes. A few quick twists of the pepper grinder will add piquancy. Serve garnished with the cheese.