This year I am adding more meatless meals to my repertoir. Pasta e Fagioli (pasta and beans) is a traditional Italian meal that is simple, hearty and healthy. It has the added benefit of using any leftover vegetables you might have on hand, as well as pantry staples such as pasta, canned beans and tomatoes.
Start your water boiling for your favorite pasta. A shaped pasta such as penne or bow ties (rather than string style) pasta works best for this dish.
Mince onions and carrots, then saute in olive oil until cooked.
Add other vegetables as desired )I used chopped fresh asparagus this time) and a can of chopped tomatoes (reserve the liquid)
Add a can or two of red kidney beans to the saute
Add Italian herbs, salt and pepper to taste
Cook your pasta in the boiling water until al dente ("to the teeth", meaning cooked but not too squishy!) and drain, (reserve some of the pasta water)
Combine the vegetable saute with the pasta and toss gently. Add some of the reserved tomato juice or pasta water if a more loose sauce is desired.
Garnish with grated fresh parmesan or pecorino and enjoy!