Cooking with Bob Carlson: Lesson Three

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Good Food host Evan Kleiman is conducting an on-air cooking class with producer Bob Carlson, a relatively inexperienced cook. Here's home movies of Bob's "cautionary tale" of making Spaghetti Carbonara.

Evan Kleiman
helps producer Bob Carlson overcome his fear of the kitchen by giving him his third cooking lesson. They chat about his experience making Spaghetti alla Carbonara (see the video above), his second cooking lesson. Bob's third cooking lesson is a recipe for Pasta e Fagioli. Check out Bob's Asparagus with Fried Egg and Parmesan home movie, just scroll down the page.

If you give these lessons a try, write to Good Food and let us know how it's going at

Pasta e Fagioli or Pasta e Ceci
Beans and Pasta

This dish can either be a soup or a pasta.  You vary the consistency by adding more or less dried pasta to the soup.  Start by adding less so you get an idea of how much liquid it absorbs.  If the soup is getting thicker then you want as the pasta starts to absorb the water you can always add a bit more water.  Just add a half  a cup of water at a time.  You can always add more.  You can't take away.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 package Trader Joe's Mirepoix


1 onion, peeled and diced small
1 celery stalk, diced small
1 carrots, peeled and diced small
You may use the food processor to dice the veggies

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced, grated on a microplane or put through garlic press
2 15-ounce cans white beans or garbanzo beans
1 small sprig rosemary if using garbanzos
½ (half) cup tomato sauce
Salt to taste
Olive oil for drizzling
½ (half) cup broken spaghetti (use imported Italian dry pasta)

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot.  Add the onions, celery, and carrots.  Cook until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent.  Add the garlic and cook until it gives off its characteristic odor.  If using garbanzos, add the rosemary now.

Add the beans with their liquid and enough additional water to cover by about  two inches.  Add the tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil, then turn down heat so soup simmers. Add salt to taste.

Music break: I was a Persian Fly by Jerry Allen