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From the kitchen: Pasta e Fagioli

March 13, 2013

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You know that one dish that you never get sick of? The one that you always crave? The one that you can’t pass up on a menu? Mine is pasta e fagioli, pasta with beans. It’s a traditional stew-like Italian dish made with just a few simple ingredients. It’s fast, easy and inexpensive to make, but tastes so complex and flavorful. I can never have enough. And it’s one of those foods that only gets better overnight, so I always make enough for leftovers. I’m partial to the non-tomato paste style, but you can always add a little, which I think is the more traditional way of making this dish. I also like to add bacon or pancetta, but traditionally pasta e fagioli is meatless.  I made this particular recipe for the first time as a special treat on Valentine’s day and both Evan and I were blown away. We’ve had many a pasta e fagioli at restaurants, and while so many have been unquestionably great, we think this one might be the best we’ve ever had (like EVER). That’s a pretty high bar to have set, but if I never find a better version of this comforting dish I’d be totally fine with that. -xo

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Pasta e Fagioli (adapted from Giada de Laurentiis…I love her)

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
4 ounces bacon, chopped (about 3 strips)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 cups chicken broth
3 (14-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup any short pasta (elbow mac would work just fine)
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

DIRECTIONS

Wrap the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth and secure closed with kitchen twine. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter in a large dutch oven or heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bacon, and garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, beans, and sachet of herbs. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the sachet. Using a hand blender directly into the pot, puree the bean mixture just enough to thicken it up. Alternately, you can take 1-2 cups of the mixture and puree in a blender until smooth and return back to the soup. Bring soup back to a simmer. Add pasta and cook for about 8 minutes. Season the soup with ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.

Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with fresh Parmesan just before serving. Buon appetito!

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2013 2:23 am

    My nonna used to prepare this recipe every Winter! It brings back so many memories!

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      March 14, 2013 10:48 am

      Oh, that’s so sweet! It’s such a good, comforting dish.

  2. March 13, 2013 8:46 am

    I love simple ingredients done well. I am a big fan of legumes, too. We have been trying to eat more of them to save money…which is fine by me! I’ll have to try this out, for sure.

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      March 14, 2013 10:49 am

      I hope you love it as much as I do! Mmmmm, wish I had some now, in fact!

  3. VVernhard permalink
    March 13, 2013 9:24 am

    Reblogged this on KP28 * Soul Food und kommentierte:
    sieht auch schon wieder sehr lecker aus…

  4. One-Half Hippie permalink
    March 13, 2013 3:41 pm

    YUM. looks delicious!

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      March 14, 2013 10:49 am

      Thank you!

  5. March 13, 2013 8:22 pm

    I made the tomato paste version just last week. I was not at all happy with how it turned out :( This looks much better! Can’t wait to try it!!!

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      March 14, 2013 10:52 am

      I think you’re going to love this recipe, it’s so so good! Can’t go wrong with bacon :)

  6. Jaclyn Paige permalink
    March 13, 2013 10:53 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious! I saw it earlier in the day and I was instantly craving some soup! Even though I am still learning how to cook, this is definitely something I want to make!

    • love and cupcakes permalink*
      March 14, 2013 10:56 am

      Jaclyn this is the perfect recipe for a starter cook, it’s so SO easy! I hope you give it a try! xo

  7. curiousmarie permalink
    March 18, 2013 10:03 am

    Oh this look yummy – think dinner is sorted for this eve : )

  8. papa_rod permalink
    March 27, 2013 10:17 am

    I prefer red sauce in mine…I use Dom Deluise’s Mamma’s recipe. But I like this version as well.

  9. papa_rod permalink
    March 27, 2013 10:20 am

    Reblogged this on The Sicilian Frog and commented:
    I prefer red sauce in mine…I use Dom Deluise’s Mamma’s recipe. But I like this version as well. http://recipecircus.com/recipes/lindatn/SOUPSandSTEWS/Mamma39s_Pasta_Fagioli_.html

  10. papa_rod permalink
    March 27, 2013 10:21 am

    In case you are interested…http://recipecircus.com/recipes/lindatn/SOUPSandSTEWS/Mamma39s_Pasta_Fagioli_.html

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