Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pasta Fagioli

I'm a sucka for soup.

I prefer cream based soups to clear broth soups in the winter, but in the summer I really like chunky, fresh from the garden (obviously, not my garden) "meal all in one" soups, that provide leftovers for days.

I've had this Pasta Fagioli recipe stuck in my head for days, after cleaning out my pantry and happening across 3 separate boxes of dilatini pasta and 5 cans of cannalini beans! Sometimes when I grocery shop, my stomach takes over without my mind realizing it - so it's no wonder I've been craving Pasta Fagioli...the ingredients were calling my name from behind closed doors for a few weeks now!

I really like this soup because it is not only simple and economical, but it feeds an army and is so tasty. Unlike some other soups, Pasta Fagioli is flavorful immediately. Try it, and get on the Pasta Fagioli Love Train!

All aboard! The Fagioli Love Train is departing!


2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, washed and chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup dry vermouth
1 large can (28 oz) of whole stewed tomatoes, with juice
2 cans white or cannalini beans, well rinsed
4-6 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked ditalini pasta (or any other small pasta)
2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried thyme

In a large stock pot, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic stirring occassionally until onion is translucent. Add bay leaf and red pepper flake and stir to combine. Add vermouth and cook until liquid reduces and alcohol cooks out.

Meanwhile, rinse beans completely. Add beans, canned tomatoes with juice and chicken stock to pot. Bring to a boil and cook until vegetables are tender. Add herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Before service, add cooked pasta. (Pasta will absorb liquid, so I like to keep the pasta completely separate so it doesn't overcook, or "bloat.")

I've made this same recipe and added zuchinni and squash into the vegetable medley. I've also switched out the chicken stock for vegetable stock.

Some people are scared of red pepper flake, but I've found that if you add the spice at the beginning of the cooking process, it looses some of it's heat and adds just a small kick at the end when you are ready to serve it.

It's important to get a little of each ingredient on the spoon!


Katherine said...

This recipe looks so good! It's one of my favorite soups and I can't wait to try it. I stumbled it so I could find it easily. :)

Debbie said...

Looks delicious. It's one of my favorites.

Haley said...

I think I will hop on that pasta fagioli love train! I can see why this soup was calling your name; it looks delish!

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