Pasta e Fagioli
Lately, I’ve been looking back at some of my old posts from when I started this blog and it makes me chuckle to see how much I really love soup. Does everyone else feel this way, or is it just me? Loving soup, I mean. I can’t seem to stop sharing my favorite liquid recipes so hopefully at least some of you appreciate the magic of a warm bowl of comfort!
In 2013, I told you (well, those of you who were reading back then!) that my all-time favorite soup was pasta e fagioli, and five years later, it’s still true. But something I didn’t share at the time? The all-important recipe! Rude, right? Anyway, I’m here to remedy that. I’ve made my own version of this soup so many times over the years that I do it by heart. From the simmering of pancetta to the methodical chopping of the holy trinity, for me, the building of pasta fagioli is a labor of love.
Tasting this is like having a conversation with an old friend; it’s warm, soothing, and nourishing in a way that few other things in life will ever be. It’s also one of the only soups I don’t need to serve with bread or salad because it’s so hearty. And perhaps best of all, I usually have all of the ingredients on hand so I can make it if other dinner plans fall through. I also like that I can add whatever other veggies I happen to have, like butternut squash (though that isn’t traditional). Anyway, my recipe is below and I’m hoping it will become as much of a staple in your house as it is in mine.
Pasta e Fagioli
- Serves: 5-6
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 60-75 minutes
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 sprig rosemary ( or ½ tbsp. dried)
- 4 sprigs thyme (or 1 ½ tsp. dried)
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 cans cannellini beans, well rinsed
- 48 ounces chicken broth
- ½ cup ditalini (or other small pasta)
- Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan) for serving
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive in a large Dutch oven. Once the oil shimmers, add pancetta and brown for 4-5 minutes. Add onion, carrot, celery, salt, pepper, and sauté until soft, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and herbs; simmer for 2 more minutes. Add diced tomatoes and cannellini beans, then stir to combine. Pour chicken broth over ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 45-60 minutes. Add ditalini 8-10 minutes before serving*. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with a heap of Pecorino Romano and enjoy!
*Sometimes I boil the pasta separately so it doesn’t suck up all the broth when I save it for leftovers, but the truth is, the soup really needs the starchiness the pasta provides. So, even if you choose to boil the majority of the pasta separately, be sure to boil at least a ¼ cup in the soup.
From: Sea Salt and Honey