When the stars make you drool
just like pasta fazool,
- Dean Martin
How many times to you have to order a dish in different restaurants, and be handed a plate full of disappointment, before you decide it’s a loser?
My number’s around four or five, and that’s how many times the Italian comfort classic pasta fazool (also known as pasta fagioli, pasta with beans) left me shrugging. Usually it was souplike, bland, with the beans cooked until some fell apart.
Then a friend dragged me to Santasiero’s, at 1329 Niagara St. “Try half an order,” he said. “You get the full and it’s hard to walk.”
So for $5, the server plunks down a bowl of beans in chicken broth and pasta. A basket of bread and butter. Sauteed peppers come on another plate. The fava beans and chickpeas are smooth but firm inside, not disintegrating. The peppers are soft and spicy in warm oil.
The beans are mild, and I reached for the cheese and chile flakes, which is when it really started singing.
So that’s what started Ol’ Deano crooning. I get it now.