Pasta e Fagioli

Happy Monday to all! I hope everyone enjoyed this beautiful fall weekend weather. Saturday was especially beautiful with a breezy, sunny 60° day. I was lucky enough to go exploring through Central Park with Kim so she can get some autumnesque photos (check out her blog!). She managed to sneak in a photos of  me enjoying the day, although I’m not the most photogenic person out there.

So back at Kim’s apartment on Friday night, we were faced with the infamous question of: “What should we eat?” Earlier this month, Kim and I put ourselves up to the challenge of making as many homemade soups as possible this fall/winter. So I took to my fathers recipe books in search of something delicious to whip up.

We were craving an incredibly hearty soup, but with Kim being a vegetarian, meat as our filler was out of the question. Instead we turned to the all-mighty bean! They are full of fiber, are delicious and versatile, and best of all they are CHEAP! Automatically my mind went to my Dads recipe of ‘Pasta e Fagioli’ which translates to ‘pasta and beans’. It’s a pretty straight forward recipe name to tell you what’s in it, but Italians are pretty straight forward people 😉

This is a very quick soup to put together; from cutting to serving it only takes 40 minutes. Usually I would pair soup with a grilled cheese, but that would too filling with such a satisfying soup. Instead we threw together a mixed green salad topped with pear, goat cheese, and a basic red wine vinaigrette- and my cheddar buttermilk biscuits made a guest appearance as well. Most of these ingredients are probably in your cupboard already so if I were you, I’d tag this to your favorites bar to put together on another cold fall day!

Pasta e Fagioli

Yields: 6 large servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 pound (about 3 slices) pancetta, chopped (Optional)
  • 2 teasooon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups ditalini

Directions:

  1. Heat a deep pot over medium high heat and add oil and pancetta. Brown the pancetta bits lightly, and add herbs, bay leaf, chopped vegetables, and garlic.
  2. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Add beans, tomato sauce, water  and stock to pot and raise heat to high. Bring soup to rapid boil and add pasta. Reduce heat to medium and cook soup, stirring occasionally, 6-8 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente.
  3. Remove bay leaf from soup and let soup rest for a few minutes. Top soup with grated parmigiano and serve!

Recipe Note:

If you’re going to freeze the soup for later consumption, do not add pasta until ready to eat.

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