Friday, June 12, 2015

Southern Italian Pasta Fagioli

Some recipes are one and done - but this one keeps you coming back for more!  An Italian comfort food favorite, Pasta Fagioli has been on many Italian tables on a weekly basis.  It's filling, nutritious, and if you can find the best ingredients, this is more than a simple pasta and bean soup.

San Marzano tomatoes, fresh rosemary and a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano can turn this soup into one of your favorite meals.

You can use whatever vegetables you would like.  I added one small zucchini.


2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 oz. pancetta, chopped
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
2 - 15 oz. cans cannellini (white) beans
1 - 28 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
2 cups water
1 quart low sodium chicken stock
1 cup dried ditalini or other small pasta
Fresh basil leaves
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Locatelli for serving

Heat a stock pot over medium high heat and add oil and pancetta.  Brown pancetta bits lightly.  Add herb stems, chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the beans, tomatoes, water and stock to pot and bring to a simmer.  Simmer covered for 30 minutes.  Bring soup to a boil and add the pasta.  Reduce heat to medium and cook soup, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked.  Remove rosemary and thyme stems.  Add fresh basil, turn off heat and let soup rest for a few minutes.  Serve in warm bowls with plenty of cheese.

Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time:  45 minutes
Servings: 4-6

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