For the soup:
• 250 gr / 4 cups (about 15 oz) cooked beans
• 200 gr / 2 cups (about 7 oz pasta) – like ditalini or any pasta broken into one-inch pieces
• 2 carrots, chopped in dices
• 1 medium-to-large yellow onion, finely chopped
• 2 stalks of celery finely chopped
• 1/2 cup bacon (optional)
• Sage & Rosemary, finely chopped.
• 2 bay leaves
• 3-4 Tbs olive oil
• 1/2 handful coarse sea salt
• Salt & pepper to taste
• A pinch of dried red chili pepper flakes (optional)
For the sauté:
• 6 cherry tomatoes, chop in quarters
• 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
• 10 gr / ½ cup fresh parsley leaves finely chopped
• a light drizzle of olive oil
In a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat, sauté the chopped onion, carrot, celery, dried red chili pepper, bacon, sage and rosemary with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir often, until the onions are turning translucent and soft.
Add the beans, the bay leaves, 4 cups of water and raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and reducing the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
Add the pasta and continue cooking, stirring often to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot, for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked.
Add more water if needed.
While the pasta is cooking, in a small skillet sauté garlic and cherry tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil.
When the pasta is done add the sauté to the soup and stir well until all the flavors are well combined. The consistency of the soup should be creamy and not too thin.
Remove the pot from the heat and add fresh parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve warm.
Beans: In this pasta e fagioli recipe I use canned beans, so this is ready in less than an hour.
I usually use dried beans and they need to be prepared with a day in advance.
It looks difficult but, believe me, it’s a healthier choice and time will do the job!
To prepare dried beans: Soak beans overnight in cold water. Wash and drain the beans and cook them in a pressure cooker or in a normal pot with a stalk of celery, 1 carrot,1 garlic clove, 2 bay leaves and enough water to cover them (about 4-5 inches). Cook over medium heat until done, for about 45 minutes to one hour. You can use the liquid to cook the pasta in. For this recipe you can use chickpeas or lentils.
Pasta: I used some linguine pasta broken into pieces. You can use any leftover pasta you have in your pantry.
For gluten free: Use a bite size gluten-free pasta.
For vegan: Don’t add bacon. Very simple!
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