Pasta e Fagioli

pasta-e-fagioli-optSpring is right around the corner but today is a very blustery day. Perfect last chance to make this yummy soup. It’s a quick, one pot recipe that everyone loves.  This recipe makes a lot so I usually share it with a friend so I don’t have to eat soup all week. The pasta soaks up a lot of the stock after it cools so add more when reheating if you want.

My dh recently discovered he has food allergies aplenty. One of them is wheat. This quinoa pasta, Andean Dream, is the best tasting I have found. You can get it online or at Whole Foods if there is one near you. The texture is very good.  It does take a little longer to cook than regular wheat pasta. Substitute for the ditalini and you have a gluten-free meal in a bowl. Just make sure to take yours out first if you are serving a crowd since there won’t be much left!

Pasta e Fagioli by Rachel Ray


2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 pound (about 3 slices) pancetta, chopped
2 (4 to 6-inch) sprigs rosemary, left intact
1 (4 to 6-inch) sprig thyme with several sprigs on it, left intact
1 large fresh bay leaf or 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 stock
1 1/2 cups ditalini
Grated Parmigiano or Romano, for the table
Crusty bread, for mopping

Heat a deep pot over medium high heat and add oil and pancetta. Brown the pancetta bits lightly, and add herb stems, bay leaf, chopped vegetables, and garlic. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Add beans, tomato sauce, water, and stock to pot and raise heat to high. Bring soup to a rapid boil and add pasta. Reduce heat to medium and cook soup, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente. Rosemary and thyme leaves will separate from stems as soup cooks. Remove herb stems and bay leaf from soup. Let soup rest and begin to cool for a few minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and top with lots of grated cheese. Pass crusty bread for bowl mopping.

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