Italian Pasta e Fagioli
If you prefer you can make this soup vegetarian with vegetable stock and omit the pancetta. And if you have a sodium restriction by all means use low sodium chicken stock. Make it own!
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- 2 can(s)
- 14-15 ounce cans, cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium
- yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 c
- chopped pancetta
- 3 Tbsp
- olive oil, extra virgin
- carrots, peeled and chopped
- celery stalks, chopped
- 4 large
- garlic cloves, minced
- 8 c
- chicken stock regular or low sodium
- 1 1/2 c
- diced canned plum tomatoes
- 2 tsp
- kosher salt, plus more, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 lb
- small dried pasta, such as shells or ditalini
- extra-virgin olive oil for serving
- fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for serving
1Rinse the beans, drain and place in a saucepan. Add chicken stock to cover and bring to a slow boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.
2In a Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pancetta and sauté, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken stock and beans from previously, tomatoes and 2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until beans tender, about 45 minutes.
3To give the soup more body, remove 2 large spoonfuls of beans and vegetables and puree in a blender or food processor, then return the puree to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and reheat gently.
4When the soup is almost ready,in a separate large saucepan bring three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until barely al dente (tender but firm to the bite), about 8 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and add it to the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes more.
5To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Top each serving with a swirl of extra-virgin olive oil, some grated cheese and a generous grinding of pepper. Remember warm crusty Italian bread to get every drop!