Fabulous Recipe No. 15
Colin's Pasta e Fagioli recipe.
8 ounces dry cannellni or Great Northern beans
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons minced parsley, plus 1 tablespoon, chopped, for garnish
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
4 fresh sage leaves
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 beef bouillon cube, crumbled
2 cups small pasta, such as pastina
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup thinly sliced basil
Grated imported Parmesan cheese
1. Soak the beans entirely in water and cover overnight.
2. Drain the beans, rinse with cold water and drain again. Place in a large pot with the potatoes, tomatoes, celery, parsley, garlic, thyme, sage, bay leaves, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and bouillon. Add enough water to cover the ingredients with 2 inches on top and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours, setting the pot lid ajar after 30 minutes and stirring occasionally.
3. Return the soup to a boil and add the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the soup to a terrine or serving bowl. Drizzle the last tablespoon of olive oil over soup. Sprinkle basil and parsley on soup and serve with Parmesan cheese on the side.
Note: You can use many different shapes of pasta in this soup, including ditalini, orecchiette, small shells, elbow macaroni, and orzo. You can also cook the pasta separately, then place it in the bottom of the soup bowls before serving the soup.
Borlotti (cranberry beans) are traditionally used in pasta e fagioli. However, Great Northern, cannelloni, or kidney beans can also be used. Canned cannelloni beans may be substituted if you don’t have the time or inclination to soak dried beans.