Friday, March 4, 2011

Chocolates, Family and Pasta e Fagioli

     I'm sure many of you read Cooking With Paula Deen every month. I know I have purchased every issue since the magazine hit the market. If you have the current issue, I'd love for you to turn to pages 84-85 and read all about Lagomarcino's Soda Shop and their wonderful homemade candy. You see, I have a special interest in Lagomarcino's. My husband's first cousin Sandy, is married to Tom Lagomarcino. Tom and his sisters are the third generation to operate this fun, interesting and delicious business.

It is such a treat when the family gets together and the
 Lagomarcinos arrive with boxes of chocolate to share. 

     This time of year they are busy getting ready for Easter with their Chocolate Egg Pinatas. As a child, we had a local candy shop that made these and I can't tell you what a thrill it was to crack open a chocolate egg and have delicious assorted chocolates spill out. As an adult, I am seriously considering treating myself to one of Lagomarcino's perfect confections. In 2006 the family was honored with the James Beard Award and they have been featured in several magazines (they are mentioned in the current Midwest Living). They are a great family, talented candy makers and just nice people. They will ship those chocolates. Check out the website here.

     Now, on to a recipe for Foodie Friday. I'm joining Michael @ Designs by Gollum for this delicious weekly event. Check out her page for links to the best recipes on the web!

     I was looking through my recipe box last week trying to find something different to fix when I found my recipe for Pasta e Fagioli. It is great comfort food and easy to make.

1 lb. pasta (cook as directed and set aside)
2 1/2 lb. Roma Tomatoes-skinned and chopped
1 onion chopped (optional)
1 can cannellini beans (rinsed and drained) I used Great Northern
1/2 lb mushrooms-sliced thin
1-2 cloves of garlic (I don't like garlic, so I substitute a little garlic powder)
1 tsp. each of thyme, rosemary and oregano
1/2 cup water
1 bag baby spinach
olive oil
Parmesean cheese

Saute' the mushrooms, onion and garlic in olive oil 3-4 minutes, add tomatoes, beans, water, salt and pepper and simmer 15-20 minutes and add spinach. (I actually cooked mine longer-I like the flavors to have time to blend). Place pasta in bowl, top with sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

You can use any pasta you like,
I like to use bite sized pastas.

It was so hot it steamed up my camera lens!


Carolyn said...

Pasta e Fagioli! One of my favorites! I will have to try your recipe for sure -- I have an old recipe from my Italian grandmother but it's so complicated.

And Lagomarcinos chocolate! They are here in Iowa -- far, far away from me though. I first heard about them a few years ago when someone at work was showing her Easter Egg. I'd forgotten about them and SO glad you posted because now I know what I'm sending my daughter at college and my nephews in Texas for Easter. WONDERFUL chocolate!!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Yum! The pasta does sound good. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I was so tempted to buy some chocolate the other day, but was good. :D

Lynn said...

Everything looks great Sue and that egg piñata is amazing! Gonna check out the website:@)

LindyLouMac said...

Whilst never having heard of the magazine the last picture is something I am definitely familiar with, often enjoying a bowl of pasta and beans that looks just like that for lunch.
Have a good weekend x

Patrice said...

That egg pinata is so cool!

Unknown said...

I had so much fun with your "no knead bread" I think I'll try the Pasta e fagioli. It looks like a good thing to share with frienfs.

Someone's Dad

JUST ME said...

Sometimes I wish Paula Dean was my mom. But I'm simultaneously aware that if she was, I'd be a much heavier version of myself.

And...a chocolate pinata?? SIGN ME UP.

xinex said...

The pasta looks so goos, Sue. Thanks for the recipe. I will definitely try it. And your cousin's choc. egg pinata looks so good too. I have never seen one but it would be so awesome to see what is inside....Christine

Shellbelle said...

I don't have the magazine, but was able to read the article when I enlarged your photo. Can I tell you that I'm ready to jump on a plane to Illinois, so I can an ice cream soda while they wrap up my chocolate egg?

What a fabulous business to be in and being generational makes it even better!

I've never made that soup before, I never realized it was so easy. Yep, went right into my file. Thanks!

Sue said...

We had regular pinatas out in the southwest, but this chocolate one is a new one for me. I like this version better, I think, since the shell is edible! LOL The pasta recipe sounds wonderful, Sue. Love Italian food! ~ Sue

Sophie said...

Mmm, definitely want to try some of those pinata eggs! Maybe I will order a couple to tuck into the twins Easter baskets this year :)

Never had the Fagioli, but it looks like something I would love!

bj said...

Well....YUM.....MEEEE. Since I LOVE chocolate, I would eat the egg first and then the great pasta.:)) Thanks for that recipe. We do love most any pasta dish.
Now, I am going over to the site and see what I might find for grands.:)
xoxo bj

bj said...

Oh, and I had a little story to tell you and almost forgot.
Talking about eating 'out' when we were kids...
my real daddy lived in Dallas and we lived about 350 miles away. Some summers, I rode the bus and later the train, to visit him. Sometimes, tho, Mom would drive me. My little brother is 10 yrs younger than me and he always was with us. We would stop about 50 miles from home for breakfast and Keith would always...ALWAYS, order a hamburger. (for breakfast)I would be just mortified. I would say, "Now, Keith, when we stop for breakfast, PROMISE ME that you won't order a hamburger." He would say, "OK, I promise." We'd stop at the same little cafe every year, and every year, as soon as the waitress asked him what he wanted...."A hamburger!" and look at me with big blue eyes and say, "I can't help it, Jeanie, I LOVE hamburgers."
Bless his little 63, I wonder if he ever wants to order a hamburger for breakfast...and if he does, I HOPE he orders it. :))

Donnie said...

Oh my that Chocolate egg looks good. They must have quite a successful business to be featured. That recipe sounds delicious too.

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

I agree with Donnie...that egg looks sooooo good...what a honor for this family to be featured in Paula's magazine.


Linda said...

I think I need to order those chocolate pinatas...they are just too wonderful!

dee dee said...

Oh I better not tell Wayne about this fantastic chocolate place... we might be compelled to do a road trip! Yummy!
Speaking of yummy, your recipe of the week looks great!
Oh.... I love your last tablescape, the yellow is so cheery adding the perfect pop of color!
Dee Dee

Sue said...

Please send chocolate. I'm always on a diet but if I had relatives like yours I'd just have to eat it so I didn't hurt their feelings.

Anonymous said...

The pasta recipe looks soooo delicious. Makes me hungry right now. Very pretty spring decorations ~ xox Alexandra

La said...

Yum, this looks delicious. I've never made pasta e fagioli. I may give it a go. Thanks.

kimmiethegorgeous said...

Sounds delicious...i can't wait to try this one, thank you.

Angie said...

What a neat shop, Sue - thanks for sharing! Also, that past sounds fantastic.

Angie said...

Sue! I forgot to mention that I finally tried one of your recipes - I had this pasta. It was quite delicious; thanks for sharing!