Pasta e fagioli
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|Alternative names||Pasta fagioli|
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Region or state||Venice|
|Main ingredients||Small pasta (elbow macaroni, ditalini), cannellini beans or borlotti beans, olive oil, garlic, onions, spices, stewed tomato or tomato paste|
|Variations||Pasta e fagioli|
|Cookbook: Pasta e fagioli Media: Pasta e fagioli|
Pasta e fagioli, meaning "pasta and beans", is a traditional meatless Italian dish. Like many other Italian favorites including pizza and polenta, the dish started as a peasant dish, being composed of inexpensive ingredients. Today it can be widely found, even in restaurants that do not specialize in Italian cuisine. It is often pronounced pasta fazool in the United States (after the pronunciation of beans in the Neapolitan language, "pasta e fasule").
Pasta fagioli is commonly made using cannellini beans or borlotti beans and some type of small pasta such as elbow macaroni or ditalini. The base is generally olive oil, garlic, minced onion, and spices, along with stewed tomato or tomato paste. Some variations do not include tomatoes at all, and are made from a broth. Modern restaurant recipes may be vegetarian, or include an animal-based stock, most commonly chicken, or meat such as prosciutto.
The recipe varies greatly based on the region or town in which it is prepared, depending on available ingredients. The consistency of the dish can vary, with some being soupy, while others are much thicker. For instance, in Bari the dish is thicker in consistency and uses mixed pasta shapes. It also uses pancetta in the base of the sauce. Other varieties call for the beans to be passed through a food mill, giving it a stew-like consistency.
In popular culture
The word for "beans" varies in different Italian dialects, e.g. fagioli ([faˈdʒɔːli]) in standard Italian, fasúl ([faˈsuːl]) in Neapolitan, and [faˈsuːlu] in Sicilian. Pastafazoola, a 1927 novelty song by Van and Schenck, capitalizes on the Neapolitan pronunciation in the rhyme, "Don't be a fool, eat pasta fazool", and the Dean Martin song "That's Amore" includes the rhyme "When the stars make you drool, just like pasta fazool, that's amore".