When I was a little girl, my grandfather worked as a longshoreman for the New York Port Authority. For most of his career, he worked the night shift. This meant that from Monday through Friday, he was rarely ever around at dinner time. As a result, my Nonna usually kept weeknight meals simple, since it was only her – and sometimes me – dining in. Nonna was a big fan of bean dishes and she made them often. They were easy, nutritious and cheap. And my Nonna was nothing if not frugal, as most World War 2 wives were. Cucina povera was her specialty.
I’ve already shared Nonna’s recipe for Pasta e Fagioli, or “Pasta Fazool”, as we affectionately call it. But another pasta and beans dish that we ate a lot of back then, was Pasta e Lenticchie, or pasta with lentils. Although a lot of recipes portray both dishes as soups, neither dish is intended to be one, but rather a thick, wet, sloppy stew, with just enough liquid in them to sop up with a hunk of crusty Italian bread. read more >>