The combination of white beans, cabbage, and cheese is heavenly, and not at all odd in northern Italy, near the Swiss and Austrian borders. Eat this for lunch, and then add some vegetable or bean broth to enjoy leftovers as a soup.
Pasta e fagioli on a plate
2 cups small paste shape
½ yellow onion, diced
1 ½ cups (or 15 oz.) cooked cannellini or garbanzo beans
½ cup shredded green cabbage
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large tomato, cored and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chiffonaded
Zest and juice from half a lemon
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to boil. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
In a large sauté pan, heat a teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cabbage and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and garlic, and continue to cook until garlic is fragrant, another 2 minutes or so. Stir in the tomato, salt, red pepper, and chopped herbs and remove from heat.
Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the pan. Toss with the lemon zest and juice, and drizzle with a little olive oil if it seems to need it. Sprinkle with cheese or just offer it on the side.