Getting married joins two people, two households and two families.
For those who like to cook, it also means you now have twice as many family recipes to dish up.
Not long after my husband, Jim, and I got married, my seriously awesome in-laws, Jack and Donna Wyko, started sending me recipes. Some were Jim's favorites, and others were ones they just thought I'd like or that would easily adapt to be gluten-free.
Tribune Chronicle / Mary Beth Wyko
A steaming bowl of Pasta Fagiole is great on a cold, February day, but would be equally good with garden-fresh ingredients in summer.
Jack and Donna both like to cook, and when Jim and I go over for dinner, it's always a team effort between them. "It's like a routine with us, really," Donna told me. "It's just automatic the way we do it."
Since I never have a bad meal when I'm eating at the Wykos, I decided it was high time to use a recipe from the other side of the family for Tribune Cooks.
When I mentioned to Jim that I wanted to use one of his family's recipes for this article, his vote was for Pasta Fagiole.
cup olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
1 cups chopped tomatoes
7 cups chicken broth
6 ounces small pasta
2 19-ounce cans Great Northern Beans (drained and rinsed)
Sautee garlic and basil in oil. Add tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper. Boil and reduce heat to simmer. Add beans and pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
Pasta Fagiole was one of the first recipes the Wykos sent me, and my mother-in-law said it's not only Jim's favorite, but a family favorite as well.
"We like it, and we eat it a lot," she said. "That was always something Jim would eat. If Jim was coming, it was always spaghetti or Pasta Fagiole."
Donna said that while she was growing up, since Catholics never ate meat on Fridays, her mother would make Pasta Fagiole frequently. "We really did have Pasta Fagiole every Friday night," she said, adding that for a while she got pretty sick of it.
This isn't Donna's mother's recipe, however, but a different version discovered by my sister-in-law, Cara Venetti. It's easy enough to make gluten-free; I simply used wheat-free pasta and broth. And if you're looking for a meat-free dish for Lent, swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
Jim and I are trying our hand at growing garlic, and since we're planning on planting tomatoes and basil again this year, I'm looking forward to making some Pasta Fagiole this summer with fresh ingredients. However, even with the store-bought produce, Jim assured me that the soup was just as he remembered.