The golden rules of the Mediterranean Diet recommend three servings of legumes per week. Beans are the masters. Here, you can find a simple and, at the same time, a unique dish of the Neapolitan tradition: the pasta mixed with beans. This dish, which has its origins in the “leftovers recovery” tradition of poor families, today has become a gourmet dish of the Neapolitan tradition.
Campania is one of the three italian regions with intense bean cultivation. Among the typical typologies produced here, we find the Tondino, produced in the Caserta countryside, and Spollichino (or “Cannellino”). Both types are suitable for pasta and beans, while Cannellino is also perfect for preparing cold summer soups.
Mixed pasta with beans (in dialect “pasta ammescata cu’ ‘e fasule”), is a typical dish from the Neapolitan tradition, born as a poor dish. Tondini beans were preferred, as they lent themselves to easy drying. This technique guaranteed the use of legumes even months after for poorer families.
Mixed pasta instead, was the pasta that advanced in the various formats and that the mothers kept and collected in a single package. Today, this type of format is produced and sold in this way on pourpose. But, as we have seen, its origin derives from one tradition of recovery of leftovers, that was born of great hunger and difficult situations.
Now, if you happen to have leftover packs of different pasta formats, you will know how to turn them into a unique pasta format for your dishes inspired by the Neapolitan tradition!
On the web, there are many recipes on how to prepare pasta and beans. For any advice and trick about it, ask me, which in turn I will ask my mom!