Sometimes slow cookers can help you become magical – in two places at once. Yes, you can be hard at work in the kitchen and relaxing elsewhere, at the very same time. (mea culpa, no pix for this post.)
Pasta Fazool (Pasta e Fagioli)
- 3lbs of Swanson’s Lower Sodium chicken stock ($2.75);
- 1 lb dry kidney beans, soaked overnight, yielding 3lbs ($1.29);
- 1 lb of fresh Polish Sausage, containing chili flakes ($3.88);
- 2 peeled carrots (can’t remember! less than $1.00);
- 1 large onion, broadly chopped (likely about $.50);
- 1 head of garlic, smashed and peeled (pennies);
- 26 oz of Hunt’s Spaghetti Sauce with Italian Sausage ($1.00);
- 5 bay leaves (pennies);
- 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary leaves (pennies); and
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper (pennies).
This is about 2 gallons, or, 24 1-cup servings for less than $12.00. That’s about fifty cents per serving! I just threw everything in the slow cooker and left it alone. If I had to do this over again, I’d pressure cooker the beans separately, and then just throw them in the last 30 minutes. The fresh sausage and vegetables probably do not require more than three hours in the slow cooker. Otherwise, the beans will need SEVEN hours in the slow cooker!!!! And, warning, 1 cup might not sound like a lot of food, but, remember, this is laden with beans. Extremely filling! Serve over your favorite pasta. I have another pasta e fagioli recipe imbued with the magic of red wine here.