We’re eating from the cupboards this week, and pasta e fagioli is right in line with that!
Traditionally a peasant food, this soup is always made with pasta and beans (hence the literal translation of the name). I’m not a huge pasta fan – mainly a textural issue, and it’s also pretty nutritionally devoid – but I had some leftover macaroni from my Christmas mac and cheese side dish contribution, and this is the only thing I could stomach it in. The combination of ingredients here is very flexible and reflects what I had in the house today.
Pasta e Fagioli
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tsp of your favorite Italian seasonings (I used a combination of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, and basil)
2 bay leaves
2 quarts (8 cups) beef bone broth
1 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
1 cup macaroni (or other small pasta)
1 can diced tomatoes
½ cup green beans (from freezer)
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
1. Heat oil in a large pot until it is very hot but not smoking. Add onions and carrots (you should hear a loud sizzle!), sautéing until soft. Then add garlic and all the aromatics, sautéing for just a couple more minutes. I don’t add salt and pepper until later since it interferes with cooking the beans.
2. Add broth and bring to a boil, then add beans and cook until soft. This step will take the longest – an hour or two, depending on the age and quality of the beans. This step can be shortened by using pre-cooked beans, but I didn’t have any on hand.
3. When beans are almost soft enough to eat, add pasta to the pot. You can also add salt and pepper at this step. If everything is timed well, the pasta and beans should be done about the same time. Then add tomatoes and green beans to heat through (I don’t like them to be overcooked).
4. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese, a dollop of crème fraîche, or eat it simply by itself.
Enjoy this inexpensive yet filling dinner!
Part of the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.