By RosaLyn Queen
The question is red or white? A red or white sweater ? No. A red or white car? No. Red or white tennis shoes? No. How about red or white roses? No. What I am really talking about is red or white pasta fagoli. If you live in an Italian home this becomes the question as the weather gets colder.
Tale has it that in Italy the white sauces come from the North and the red sauces come from the South. The story told to me when I was in Italy is that many families have cows in the North while those families in the South are poor farmers and they have an abundance of tomatoes which they preserve and use as sauce in most of their dishes. Now there are those of you who will disagree with this story but it is what it is. In Doing a little research I also found that this theory could be applied to the pasta with red sauce and the pasta with white sauce. I really never acquired a taste for white sauce until I made my first trip to Italy. While staying in San Giovanni n Fiori in Calabria I did note that there was not much flat land that could be used as a pasture and there were buildings on most pieces of land.
While growing up in East View we had pasta fagoli at least two times a week and if I want to be truthful it was not one of my favorite dishes. But I did learn that a good red sauce and a piece of Italian bread could fill up your stomach. Many times I vowed that when I grew up and had a little money, I would never eat pasta fagoli.
Several years ago my brother who always sends my sister in law and me to Julio’s for our birthdays knew we were feasting there and he called us. “Hay girls, how is lunch, what are you eating?” Well, my reply was pasta fagoli and my sister in laws was minestra. Well the joke became what I had vowed as a young girl not to eat, I was eating and paying a good price for. As mom would say “be careful what you say, it will come back to haunt you.”
I am going to share with you the recipes for both red and white, knowing full well as with any recipe each family has its own version but here is the basic. White Pasta Fagoli. Olive oil in skillet. Brown bacon and garlic, Remove bacon. In a large kettle cook a pound of beans, northern preferred and in another kettle cook a pound of dittalini pasta Al dente. When done drain pasta, add 2 cups of chicken broth and mix with beans, add bacon grease and garlic and let simmer. Add a quart of heavy cream to the mixture and let simmer. Ready for a good meal.
Red pasta fagoli. Brown garlic and one copped onion in bacon grease.chop three celery stalks and two carrots. In a large kettle add two cans tomato sauce 6 to 8 cups chicken broth 2 tsp sugar, Italian seasonings, add garlic and onion and carrots and celery to sauce. Simmer until tender. Add two cups of cooked Northern beans and 1 1/2 cups of cooked dittalini. Let simmer until all tastes have combined. Ready to serve a good red dish.
Well if you are like me. I want one red and one white. Do not forget a good salad and a loaf of Italian bread. MANGIA!!
I truly hope that you scheduled your mammogram. Prevention is the best way of beating cancer.
Please be sure to enjoy this beautiful fall season and until next week “Now You Have Heard It Through The Grapevine.”