Pasta Fazool or Fagioli

8 03 2012

I’m singing along to Dean Martin’s ‘That’s Amore’  as I write this….”When the stars make you drool, joos-ta like pasta fazool, that’s amore”!

Pasta Fazool or Pasta Fagioli, meaning “pasta and beans”, is a classic and traditional Italian soup or soup-like dish (consistency can vary depending on the region). This rendition is a mix of a Rachel Ray recipe, my BF Mom, Dolores’ recipe and a few of This Girl’s tweaks. Pour yourself a glass of vino to enjoy with this comfy meal and mangia!

Pasta Fazool or Fagioli

The following serves 2 (and maybe leftovers depending on your portion sizes):

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary and 1 small sprig thyme, left intact (or use a few pinches of dried herbs if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, but I like it a little spicy)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 small celery rib, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans or northern white beans (I like to drain and rinse the beans)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • About 1 cup ditalini
  • 1 rind parmigiano reggiano or parmesan (optional)
  • Grated parmigiano reggiano
  • Crusty garlic bread, for cleaning the bowls

Heat a deep pot over medium high heat and add oil and add herb stems, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, chopped vegetables, and garlic. Season vegetables with salt and pepper.

After the veggies have a few minutes to sweat, add beans, tomato sauce, water, and stock to pot and raise heat to high. Bring soup to a rapid boil and add pasta and cheese rind if you have one. Reduce heat to medium and cook soup, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is cooked to al dente.Cooking the pasta right in the soup will help it thicken.

Rosemary and thyme leaves will separate from stems as soup cooks (if you used the fresh herbs). Remove herb stems, bay leaf and cheese rind from soup. Let soup rest and begin to cool for a few minutes, it will also continue to thicken. Ladle soup into bowls and top with lots of grated cheese. Because I used dried herbs, I also garnished with a little chopped parsley to finish with a fresh element.

Enjoy with a glass of vino and some toasted up crusty garlic bread for cleaning the bowls!

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