PASTA E FAGIOLI WITH “CHEESY” GARLIC CROUTONS
Free of: gluten and all top allergens
Pasta e Fagioli is about as comforting as a bowl of soup can get. The hearty combo of vegetables, beans, and pasta make a complete meal, perfect for any chilly fall night, or wonderful for lunch the next day. The “Cheesy” Garlic Croutons are an added bonus. Store them tightly covered at room temp… but don’t expect them to last, as kids devour them like candy.
This recipe makes enough for a hearty meal for 4, plus leftovers. I’ve swapped out the traditional allergens of gluten/wheat, anchovies (fish), egg, and dairy usually present in this dish, with olive oil, gluten-free pasta, dairy and soy-free “cheese”, and allergy-friendly bread. To make this vegan, swap vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and omit the prosciutto.
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces nitrite-free prosciutto, chopped (½ cup)
2 cups diced yellow onion
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1 tbsp finely minced fresh rosemary
½ tsp crushed red pepper
¼ cup dry white wine
Big pinch salt
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup gluten-free pasta shells (I like Tinkyada brown rice pasta for this)
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper, to taste
‘Cheesy’ Garlic Croutons (recipe follows)
1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and cook 3 minutes, or until crispy. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
2. Add onion, celery and carrot to the pot and cook 7 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper and cook 1 minute. Add white wine and salt, and cook while stirring to deglaze bottom of pan, until almost all wine has evaporated. Incorporate chicken broth, diced tomatoes and pasta with a gentle stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until the pasta is tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
3. Mash half of the beans. Stir the mashed beans and whole beans into the pot and cook 5 minutes more. Add more chicken broth as necessary if the soup is too thick.
4. Remove from heat, stir in reserved prosciutto, parsley and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons.
‘Cheesy’ Gluten-Free Garlic Croutons
Makes 3 cups
These crunchy croutons can be stored tightly covered at room temperature, but don’t expect them to last as kids devour them like candy.
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
½ tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp dried oregano, crushed between your fingers
5 heaping cups gluten-free* bread, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 6 slices, preferably stale)
1 cup dairy-free cheese alternative shreds (such as Daiya or Go Veggie!)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Combine oil, garlic, salt and oregano in a small bowl, whisking well to combine.
3. Put bread cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil mixture, tossing gently with a rubber spatula to evenly coat.
4. Transfer bread cubes to a baking tray, spaced into a single layer. Sprinkle liberally with cheese alternative.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes, turning once, until lightly golden and dry. The cheese may seem goopy at first but it will become crunchy.
6. Transfer the crouton tray to a wire rack, and let cool to room temperature.
7. Break apart any croutons that have clumped together.
* For allergy-friendly bread that’s gluten-free and free of the top-8 allergens, seek Ener-G brand.
Allergy-Friendly Pasta e Fagioli with “Cheesy” Garlic Croutons © 2013 by Cybele Pascal
This recipe first appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Allergic Living Magazine