by Zachariah Zendejas
Welcome to KRL’s Chef’s Kitchen, a series of articles that takes us into the kitchens of local chefs where they share not only a personal recipe but a story behind it. This time we are again in the kitchen of Martin Barcellos, chef and owner with his wife Dawn, of Valentino’s Italian Restaurant in Reedley. You’ll find a discount coupon for Valentino’s at the end of this article.
Summer Dish, Pasta Fazool, Courtesy of Valentino’s
There are two versions of this dish: in Northern Italy it is made as a soup, but the Southern version was essentially “re-vamped” to be what cooks had available to them. This dish is typically made in the early summer. Chef Barcellos recalled how Sunday was “Pasta Day” and his grandmother would make this dish mostly on Sunday afternoons. Chef Barcellos encourages everybody (experienced cook or not) to make this dish. “I would want people to try to do it just to see how simple it is, because this dish is not complex at all.”
Chef Barcellos’ Pasta Fazool
¼ lb. Fresh green beans (blanched for about 3-5 minutes)
¼ lb. Dry penne pasta
¼ lb. Valentino’s Italian Sausage
1 Roma tomato (diced)
2 Cloves of garlic (chopped)
½ tsp. Oregano
2 tbsp. Olive Oil (good olive oil)
Salt and Pepper
Cook pasta in salted water. Cut the sausage into small pieces and cook in the olive oil until about half done. Remove the sausage from pan and set aside. In the same pan add the garlic and tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes until they have broken down. Next, add the sausage back into the pan. When the sausage is fully cooked add the blanched green beans. Add the oregano, salt and pepper (salt and pepper to taste). Finally, add the pasta and about two tablespoons of the pasta-water to the pan. Toss it together, plate it and enjoy.
Chef Barcellos also encourages you to experiment with the dish. Add some hot peppers, possibly some other vegetables. Whatever you do enjoy!
Learn more about Valentino’s and enjoy more of Martin’s recipes in an earlier article on Reedley’s Taste of the Town and check out past Chef’s Kitchens for more of Martin’s recipes and the Spring Chef’s Kitchen.
Check out Martin’s cooking for yourself-treat yourself to Reedley’s own Valentino’s–their specials are listed on their Facebook page. Check out this special coupon for KRL’s readers!