Cesarina’s pisarei e faso or pasta and beans recipe

This is the kind of pasta dish I can am happy to eat on a regular basis. Cesarina uses her own fresh borlotti beans, but you can use dried ones instead.

The dough is unusual as it uses breadcrumbs, which somehow melt away in the knead. It’s important to let it rest before rolling it out. Also note that lardo is not lard; it’s cured pork fat that, at room temperature, is almost creamy and easy to turn into a paste.

This is enough for 6 people.

For the dough:

400g 00 white flour
100g fine breadcrumbs
200ml warm water approximately

Mix everything together, adding a little water at a time, and keep kneading until the dough stops feeling granular, and starts feeling silky to touch. Cover it with a cloth or cling film and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Pull chunks off and roll into thin ropes.Then tweak pea or bean size pieces off, and roll them along the pasta board with your thumb to create a curved shape. Keep the pasta under a towel to stop them from drying out while you make the sauce.

For the sauce:
75g lardo or fatty pancetta
2 twigs of rosemary, leaves stripped
1 onion chopped
pinch of nutmeg, clove, pepper,
bay leaf and a handful of chopped parsley
500g borlotti beans, ready cooked
300ml of good tomato passata

To serve: a generous handful of grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Mince the lardo with the rosemary to form a paste. Melt this in a saute pan and fry the onion until soft. Add all the other ingredients and simmer for a good 15 minutes or so, for the flavours to get to know each other.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the pisarei. When they float to the top, which will take about 5 minutes, scoop them out and add to the bean mixture. Stir them together along with the parmigiano, and serve.

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