Friday, January 6, 2012

Pasta e Fagioli

since i will be heading back to new york city monday morning, i thought i would make a big pot of
pasta e fagioli ~ some for bob, some for the kelly family and perhaps some to freeze for future.
i had meant to bring my thyme in before the frost but, ooops!...there was barely a tablespoon of
useable leaves! (martha would be tsk, tsk-ing right now)

i have been inspired by many cooks, notably, craig claiborne of the new york times, marcella hazan,
julia child, the joy of cooking (i give this book to young brides as it teaches everything), martha stewart,
and even rachael ray.....when i share a recipe, it is probably one i found in a book or magazine, one that was given to me by someone and i added my own twist or was a "family hand down", it is not plagarisim for me to share these recipes, as they become public domain once they are "out there" such thing as copyright on a recipe!

pasta e fagioli means pasta and beans in italian.  it is a hearty soup that is wonderful served with freshly
grated cheese, a salad and good bread.  some recipes call for ham stock ~ i always use chicken stock.

here is the pasta e fagioli recipe i made tonight:

1 T. olive oil
3 slices pancetta or american bacon, chopped
1 sprig rosemary leaves
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
1 large rib celery, chopped in medium dice
1 onion, chopped in medium dice
1 carrot, chopped in medium dice
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/4 -1/2 t. crushed red pepper, depending on your "heat" preference
kosher salt and pepper
2 cans cannellini beans (15 oz.), not rinsed
1 cup spaghetti sauce mixed with 1 cup water
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup ditalini pasta
1/2 to 1 cup grated romano

1.  heat large pot on medium and add oil.  then add pancetta (or bacon) and stir, turning, to brown.

2.  add herbs, vegetables, garlic, salt and pepper.  cook, stirring, til vegetables are tender.  add beans,
spaghetti sauce with water, chicken stock and bring to boil. 

3.   add pasta and stir.  cook, stirring occasionally,  til pasta is cooked.  remove pot from heat 
and remove stems and bay leaves from soup. add grated cheese and stir well.  yield 3 quarts.

note:  i also sometimes add cooked loose italian sausage to this soup to make it even heartier.
         i usually make this the day before serving since we like it nice and thick.

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