In short, it’s Thanksgiving in a shell. The good news is to cut down on time, you can make everything except the pasta shells the day before. You can also buy items that are already prepared, such as vegan gravy, cranberry sauce, etc. So you can make this as homemade or “semi-homemade” as you wish. It’s a delicious combination of flavors and it looks beautiful on the plate – bright red cranberry drizzle, brown gravy, green garnish and orangey sweet potatoes. I hope you enjoy this special meal.
If you have leftover stuffing from a meal, such as a Thanksgiving lunch, all you need to do is keep about 1.5 cups of stuffing to make this recipe, which serves two. The cornbread is a great complement to the soup and helps keep the Thanksgiving celebration going into the next meal. I hope you enjoy it.
My solution to eating less pasta? Eat more filling! Enter Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles. It’s what I use to stuff these shells to the brim with veggie protein and goodness. I also add spinach because iron is a beautiful thing. The end result is a little taste of pasta to satisfy your carb addiction and a boat load of healthy veggies.
Pasta Fagioli combines both ingredients and there are many variations to this recipe. I’m using a bean called “Christmas Lima” from the Rancho Gordo company (www.ranchogordo.com). I was seduced by the beautiful marble color of the beans and the chestnut-like flavor, so I used them to replace the white beans in my mom’s recipe. Feel free to use whatever bean you have available – that’s the joy of Pasta Fagioli.
Because I did not use canned beans, I needed to soak them the night before and boil them separately to soften them up. For this recipe, I’m suggesting canned beans as a time-saver, but feel free to use whatever beans work for you depending on the time you have available.
I’m also using elbow macaroni because I happen to have it in my pantry– any small pasta will do. My mother used to break up spaghetti into bite-sized pieces in her version.
This soup is so simple and hearty. You’ll enjoy it any time of year, but it’s especially wonderful in the fall. Serve with bread and salad and you’ll want to add it to your regular rotation of meals.
It’s a comfort food made with a tiny pasta called Acini de Pepe (grains of pepper) and traditionally includes tiny meat balls. To make this quick and easy, I used Field Roast sausage slices instead of the meat balls and it turned out just like the original. I hope you enjoy it.