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This meatless main dish was taken from the Prevention Magazine's newsletter, Healthy Ideas.  It's quick and easy to prepare, healthy, and warms your insides on cold winter nights.   By the way, "fagiolo" means "beans" (we all know pasta).

Pasta e Fagiole

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cans (14 1/2 oz to 16 oz) fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth
  (Note #1)
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup ditalini or other small pasta
1/2 lb. Swiss chard leaves, coarsely chopped, OR 1/2 lb. spinach leaves    (Note #2)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Warm the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic.  (Note #3)  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.

Add the broth, tomatoes (with juice), drained beans and uncooked pasta.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.    Add the Swiss chard or spinach and the salt.  (Note #4).   Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes more or until the greens are wilted.

For added flavor, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese (Note #5) and fresh ground black pepper on the pasta e fagiole just before serving.  

Makes 6 servings.


Note #1:   The recipe calls for 14 1/2 oz. cans of broth and  a 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes.  If the cans are larger, add a little more pasta.

Note #2  So you don't have any fresh Swiss chard or spinach on hand?   Use 1/2 lb. of frozen spinach, thawed and excess liquid squeezed out.

Note #3:  Personally, I like to add just the onion and cook until the onion is soft.  Then add the chopped garlic.  Stir and sauté for another minute.  It's too easy to overdo cooking the garlic while waiting for the onions to soften, and that makes a bitter, rank taste.  Cooking the garlic less also preserves more of its healthful qualities.

Note # 4 I prefer to add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves (or a few sprinkles of dried basil) and a shake or two of dried oregano.   For those who like it hot, you could add some red pepper flakes as well.

Note #5:   Any other cheese would be good,  also, like crumbled feta, grated Romano or shredded sharp cheddar.

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