Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Pasta e Fagioli and an Audible Book Review #NationalItalianFoodDay

We are celebrating National Italian Food Day with the Festive Foodies.  This event is hosted by Ellen of Family Around the Table and we were invited to post any Italian recipe that we wished.

image courtesy of Bing

Sometimes it's harder to decide on a recipe when the parameters are so broad than it is if you narrow it down to a specific category.  The good thing is that with such a broad spectrum we should have a huge variety of great recipes linked to the bottom of this post.

I recently read the new Dean Koontz book, The Whispering Room.

I didn't realize when I started this novel that it was second in a series featuring FBI Detective, gone rogue, Jane Hawk.  When I figured it out I was too into the story to put it down and read the first novel.  This caused a little angst for me but not overwhelming discomfort, as the novel had me deep in it's grip by then.

Like all of Koontz' novels, this one has clear cut good and bad guys.  Like many of his novels, it contains governmental conspiracies and corruption.  There is an aura of science fiction in this novel but not as much as to make you think it is impossible....at least it makes you pray that it is impossible.

You wind up rooting for Jane, who is a BAD ASS, and all of those who meet her and help her in this quest to save the world as we know it. 

I am not going to go back and read the first novel now as I have a pretty good idea of the background.  Koontz is good like that.  The only threads left unraveled are those leading to the next novel.  I can't wait for it to come out.  Jane Hawk may just fill that space in my life that has been gaping open since the final Odd Thomas novel.

My inspiration for today's recipe comes from the novel. Running for her life, Hawk ducks into a restaurant that is closed and empty except for the chef and the smell of "fajioli" emanating from the kitchen.  Hawk quickly disposes of the threat when he follows her into the restaurant.  As the chef comes out of the kitchen to see what all the ruckus is about he is met by Jane who tells him how wonderful his soup smells.

Upon reading this quick blurb, I knew that I was going to wait to review this book until today when we were celebrating Italian Foods.  I finished this novel before I listened to Britt Marie Was Here that I already reviewed.  

I will be sharing this post with our Foodies Read group as well.  Stop by and see what the other's are reading this month.

This soup is easy to throw together, using canned beans.  It was served up as the first course of our daughter's birthday dinner.  The final course, a Sachertorte, was also inspired by a novel.  You will find that recipe and review here.

Pasta e Fagioli

1/2 Vidalia onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, scraped and sliced
2 T. olive oil
2 T. tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. red wine
6 cups chicken stock
2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs sage
1 bay leaf
2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. small pasta, cooked per package directions
Shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over med high heat.  Add the onion, celery and carrot.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables start to soften, 5-10 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and garlic. Cook and stir until fragrant. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the chicken stock, beans, rosemary, sage, bay leaf and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove the rosemary, sage and bay leaf from the mixture.  Stir in the pasta until heated through.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.  Garnish individual bowls with parmesan cheese, if desired.  Print Recipe

More Incredible Italian Foods


  1. That looks so delicious and comforting, Wendy. I might need a bowl of that. It's chilly today. Okay, not Michigan-chilly, but definitely California-chilly.

    1. Yes, we were chilled yesterday at Morro Bay but what an amazing adventure we had.

  2. Love Dean Koontz! Plus this Pasta e Fagioli is sure to be a favorite with my husband!

    1. I love him too Heather and I think I'm going to love Jane Hawk as well.

  3. With all the snow we're having, this soup would be perfect to cozy up with.

  4. I love soup! The flavors of your's are fabulous and I am looking forward to making it!

  5. Must check the library, love Dean Koontz! I've been eating so much soup this winter, and this looks like a great addition to the menu.


I enjoy getting comments and feedback from my audience. Please let me know what you think, keeping in mind that we are all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions. I am happy to hear yours as long as they are stated nicely.