Chef Carl Congelo, of Rania’s Catering, stopped by PTL to make a twist on pasta fagioli!

Pasta Fagioli with Chicken

Serves 4 to 6


  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 3 T chopped fresh basil
  • 3 t chopped parsley
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 c chicken broth
  • 1/ 29 can tomato puree
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans with liquid
  • 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans with liquid
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans with liquid
  • 2 full boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 cup uncooked ditalini pasta

Heat olive oil cook chicken, celery, onion, garlic, parsley and basil over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add red pepper salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and tomato puree and simmer about 20 minutes.

Add pasta and cook pasta until tender about 10 minutes more. Add undrained beans and mix well. Serve with Parmesan cheese.


Italian Mushroom and Hot Pepper Sandwich

Makes: 2 large sandwiches


  • 4 thick slices of rustic Italian bread
  • 6 large portabello mushrooms cleaned and sliced thick
  • 8 serano chili peppers with seeds chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic sliced
  • about 8 T olive oil / could need a little more
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of sharp Italian cheese

In pan, olive oil medium heat add mushrooms, peppers and garlic and saute until tender. Add salt and pepper .

Take out cooked mushrooms and peppers with tong leaving oil in pan. With the fire off, dip bread one side of each slice in pan with seasoned oil.

Place one slice of bread oil side up on dish and add 1/2 ingredients and top with 2 slices of cheese and other slice of bread oiled side down. Repeat for other sandwich.

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