Pasta E Fajoli (Pasta and Bean Soup)
1 pkgbeans (great northern or navy beans)
·olive oil (enough to cover bottom of large heavy pot) i use a la cruset enamel pot
1 can(s)stewed tomatoes (crushed in blender or food processor)
2 stalk(s)celery (finely chopped)
1 largeonion (finely chopped)
1/2 cfresh parsley (finely chopped)
1/2 cfresh basil (finely chopped)
3 clovechopped garlic (you can never use too much garlic)
3 largecarrots, peeled and chopped
·salt and pepper to taste
1 lbsmall pasta (ditalini, tubettini, broken up spaghetti)
1 Tbspdried oregano
·grated romano cheese
How to Make Pasta E Fajoli (Pasta and Bean Soup)
- Wash package of beans and take out stones if any. Put beans in a large spaghetti pot or pressure cooker and cover with water. Simmer while making starter sauce for bean soup. DO NOT ADD SALT AT THIS POINT. NOTE: To save time for this process I use my pressure cooker (which I love) and cook the fresh beans in that. Then the beans are almost cooked when you add them to your stock. I don't use canned beans because I think fresh beans add so much starch and body to this soup.
- Starter Sauce:
Pour olive oil into a large heavy pot (enough to cover bottom). While heating oil, chop onion, celery, and garlic and add to hot oil. Saute for a few minutes (about 10 minutes stirring occasionally so they won’t burn).
- Add can of stewed tomatoes that has been blended. Saute another 10 minutes over medium heat and add basil, oregano and parsley.
- Drain beans that have been simmering. They should be split by now. Discard water from beans. Or if you used a pressure cooker and the beans are done, drain and add beans to sauce. Add enough water to almost fill pan.
- Add chopped carrots, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 2 or 3 hours or until beans become very creamy in center. Not sure about the time. I usually start this early and just simmer and keep tasting. I use my La Cruset enamal pot for this dish and cook it in the oven at about 325 degrees. NOTE: If you used the pressure cooker method for the beans then cook only for about an hour.
- Boil a large pan of water for pasta. You can use tubettini, ditalini, small shells or broken up spaghetti for this soup. Cook pasta al-dente. Drain pasta and ladle into bowls first, then add soup on top of pasta. I usually top it off with a good bit of grated Romano cheese. Keep pasta and soup separate. Do it this way so if you have any soup left you don’t have a big blob when you go to use it again. Store leftover pasta and soup separately. I do this with all my soups containing pasta.