The Reason You Never Want To Make Pasta Fagioli Ahead Of Time

Pasta e fagioli in a bowl
Pasta e fagioli in a bowl - Ezume Images/Shutterstock

Dean Martin knew what he was talking about when he crooned about Italian food in his song "Amore," but he sang about more than just a big pizza pie. Another food ignites that feeling of satiated love.  As the lyrics go, "When the stars make you drool, just like pasta fazool, that's amore," because that's exactly what your tastebuds experience when you eat a bowl of this hearty soup. "Pasta Fazool" or pasta e fagioli, as it is better known, is a rich meal comprised of white beans, a short pasta like shells or a traditional ditalini, along with a few veggies and herbs in a tomato broth that turns thick and creamy. It is a wonderfully satisfying dish; however, it is not a dish you can prepare ahead of time or the pasta and beans will soak up all the broth and your soup will be no more.

Unlike the noodles in canned soup that never get soggy, the starchy nature of rehydrated noodles is what makes pasta e fagioli special. But it also causes them to soak up all that liquid long after the dish is cooked. For this reason, this soup must be made and served immediately. The same thing happens when you make a rice soup and you end up with a mushy spoonful of soup that is less than appetizing.

Read more: 13 Unexpected Ingredients To Elevate Lasagna

Separation Is Key

Bowls of uncooked pasta
Bowls of uncooked pasta - Alexpro9500/Getty Images

What can you do if you want to serve pasta e fagioli at a dinner party or evening gathering? The best course of action is to make your noodles separately from the broth, beans, veggies, and protein (if you're adding one). But no worries if you are going meatless -- vegetarian pasta e fagioli is just as good if not preferable. You can add those noodles at the last minute so they won't look like overly swollen pasta from a sci-fi film.

Reheating this dish can be tricky. Once it has absorbed that broth, there's no turning back. It is going to become mushy. However, if you are making this for a family dinner and know there will be leftovers, you could reserve some broth and noodles and store them separately. This way when you assemble your leftovers the next day, there will be plenty of broth and the noodles will not have disintegrated. Top with some shredded parmesan and it will taste just as good as the night before.

Read the original article on Tasting Table