Pisarei e fasò (pasta and beans)
FOR THE PISAREI DOUGH
- All-purpose flour 400g (14 oz)
- Breadcrumbs 150g (5.3 oz)
- Warm water 400g (14 oz)
- Fine salt 5g (0.18 oz)
FOR THE FASÒ
- Yellow onions 60g (2.1 oz)
- Butter 30g (1 oz)
- Lard 80g (2.8 oz)
- Dried borlotti beans 220g (7.8 oz)
- Tomato puree 200g (7 oz)
- Fine salt to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil 20g (0.7 oz)
- Grated Grana Padano DOP cheese to taste
To make Pisarei e Fasò, start with the borlotti beans: place them in a large bowl full of water and soak for 12 hours or overnight, covered with plastic wrap. After soaking, drain and rinse them under running water, then put them in a pot, cover with water, and cook for 30 minutes; this is enough since the beans will continue to cook with the sauce later.
For the Pisarei dough: sift the flour into a bowl, then add the breadcrumbs and salt. Gradually pour in the warm water and knead vigorously to combine the ingredients into a compact dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in a cool place for 1 hour (outside the fridge is fine). After resting, take the dough, divide it into small portions, and roll these into ropes about 1cm in diameter. Cut the ropes into pieces the size of a bean. Press each piece with your thumb to create a hollow. The Pisarei are ready; lay them on a tray lined with a clean, dry kitchen towel, lightly floured. There's no need to cover them; drying out a bit is not a problem.
Now for the sauce: peel and finely chop the onion, and chop the lard. Then melt the butter in a pan over low heat and sauté the onion, add the chopped lard, stir to flavor and when the onion is wilted, add the previously cooked and well-drained beans, cover with tomato passata and continue cooking the sauce for about 20 minutes. Adjust the salt and add some hot water (or vegetable broth) if necessary to keep the sauce from getting too thick.
When the beans are cooked, boil water in a large pot, salt to taste, and drop in the Pisarei. Cook for a few minutes until they float to the surface; then lift them out with a slotted spoon directly into the pan with the beans, season with grated Grana Padano cheese, and serve the Pisarei e Fasò hot with extra Grana Padano shavings to taste!