Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pasta e fagioli soup

Just when you think Spring might be right around the corner (crocus in bloom, artichokes in the market), along come a couple of gusty, chilly days to bring you back to reality. March is holding true to its reputation of "coming in like a lion." 
Well, it has, but this pasta e fagioli soup offers some comfort.
It's different from the pasta e fagioli I posted in the past, but there are more varieties of this dish than there are regions of Italy. You can make it a hearty pasta dish, or soupy, like the recipe in this post or any number of variations in between. They're all good, so it just depends what you're in the mood for.
In this case, it was soup, and as I do with many soups, I throw a leftover parmesan rind into the pot. Don't toss those precious rinds when there's no more cheese to grate. Instead, wrap those leftover rinds and store in the freezer for soups and stews. 
It really adds so much flavor.
I used chicken stock as the base, but you can use vegetable stock and keep it completely vegetarian,
making it a perfect meal during the Lenten period too, with a few slices of crusty grilled bread and maybe a hunk of cheese (oh, and don't forget the red wine.)
Sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top and dig in. Before you know it, warmer weather will be here.

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Pasta e fagioli soup

1 T. olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 parsnip, diced (optional, but I had one on hand)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
1 parmesan cheese rind
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
1 t. dried basil
salt, pepper to taste

1 15 oz. can cannellini beans
1 15 oz. can red kidney beans
1/2 cup ditalini pasta, cooked in water, then drained

Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add the carrots, celery, parsnips and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock, parmesan rind, tomato sauce, bay leaf, basil and salt and pepper. Cook everything together for 30 minutes. Remove the parmesan cheese rind. Drain the beans from the can and rinse them. Add the rinsed beans to the pot, along with the cooked ditalini. Serve with grated parmesan cheese, and crostini on the side.

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Chiara Giglio said...

un grande piatto della tradizione italiana, splendida ricetta Linda !

Lucia said...

this is what I'm going to make tonight!!! YUM! what can I use instead of cannelli beans as I can never find them!!!

Stacey Snacks said...

I love it. I want it. Might make it today.

Claudia said...

This stuff is like crack to me. I just may put a pot on today.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Lucia - Use small white navy beans, white kidney beans or even chick peas. Any kind of beans will be a good substitute if you can't find cannellini.

Lucia said...

sounds good, thank you

Diane said...

Linda----This looks wonderful! Making my mouth water as we speak....I have everything I need to make a pot---will make it today! Thanks for the idea. Pasta e fagioli is such a comfort food!

Proud Italian Cook said...

You're so right about the weather, one day it's warm then it's cold and chilly. Honestly, I'm stuck home with car problems today and I pretty much have everything I need to make this. Beautiful photos Linda, and I love that pot!

Rosa said...

Comforting and delicious!



domenicacooks said...

I just made pasta e fagioli for dinner the other night. We all love it. The main difference between your recipe and mine is that I use more broth and cook the pasta right in the soup. So good on a chilly March night. Your photos are gorgeous. Love that pot!

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

I am totally transfixed not only by your delicious minestra but your copper pot. I am pea green -- that is a fantastic pot to make delicious soups. The last time we made pasta fagioli it was thicker but with spring (I hope) just around the corner I like the looser version. Buon fine settimana.

Frank Fariello said...

The perfect dish for this time of year—any time really. I like mine rather thicker than this, but my grandmother make hers very much like this. Hey, that's what makes the world go 'round. Love the addition of the parmesan rind, it adds so much flavor.

Janie said...

Boy does this look heart warming and I love the crusty bread ready for dunking!

Rosemary Wolbert said...

I believe this is Mr. Rosemary's favorite soup. He rotuinely ordered it for lunch at a restaurant near his office. The first time I made it at home, Linda, he mildly complained, "Not quite like Costanza's. Not red enough." Hmmm. . . . go figure. Still one of my favorites (and his) not matter the color! And I'm with Domenica -- great photos.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This is one of our favorites! When I make it with dry beans I make it in the crock pot as the long simmer on low heat softens the beans well here in our high altitude. I add the vegetables in the last few hours and the cooked pasta at the end.
I love your copper serving pot, Linda. Copper is so beautiful!

paula Barbarito Levitt said...

Your approach to Italian cooking captures the essence of what it is all about; adding some parsnip, utilizing the rind of the Parmigiano. Perfect for a rainy day in the Bay Area.

Mila said...

Complimenti davvero un gran bel piatto!!!!

AdriBarr said...

Talk about a classic! This is THE one. My dad just loved it. He used to make it himself; not even my mom was trusted with this one. And it seems that every cook has his or her own version. Even my dad and his brother had their own preferred method. My dad used no tomato, while his brother liked his with just a bit. I honestly do not know show my grandmother used to make it - so which one, my dad's or my uncle's - is la vera, the world will never know! Yours looks divine, and I could go for some rightnow.