No self-respecting Italian chef would recognize this as a classic pasta fagiole, but it is a dish inspired by fagiole that
1. the youngling will actually eat
2. Sneaks in a little tomato and onion for vegetation
3. is full of fiber, and full of low glycemic index ingredients
If you have time, instead of canned or processed pork and beans, you could use navy beans, or great northern beans and make your own tomato based baked bean sauce. I’m still tinkering with that part of it. Basically its a combination of ketchup, mustard, maple syrup, garlic powder, onion powder and a pinch of chili powder…but you can use your favorite recipe for baked beans as a basis for this.
1 lb of elbow macaroni or mini penne.
1 lb of turkey or pork sausage (we like mild, maple sausage in this recipe)
4 cups baked beans (your favorite recipe) or a large family-size can of pork and beans (we like maple or onion flavor to compliment the other ingredients)
large sweet onion, diced
2 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In large pot, cook pasta according to package directions, drain, set aside.
Optional: croutons for garnish
In pot (I use the same one, I admit it) add onions, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Soften onions over medium heat 5-10 minutes. Add sausage and stir to brown. After sausage is thoroughly cooked, add beans and simmer to warm. Stir in pasta, season to taste w/ salt and / or pepper, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes to re-warm pasts. Serve with croutons on top if desired.
Makes a quick meal-in-a-bowl, especially if you are a fan of hearty comfort food reminiscent of that old Billy Crystal and Jack Palance movie “City Slickers”…”It’s hot, it’s brown and they’s lots of it.”