Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pasta e Fagioli somehow just sounds better than pasta and beans

I just love to make this in the fall when we have fresh shell beans at the market - but yesterday when I noticed how many dried beans I had stockpiled, I thought I should make some for dinner. This is really easy; don't forget to top the soup with more olive oil when you serve it - that is the real key to making this special - just gives it a creamy feel. Of course I've said before my favorite all-purpose olive oil is Bariani it's got a lovely green fresh flavor.

Pasta e Fagioli serves at least 4

1 cup dried beans (I used Rancho Gordo Cranberry beans)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 onion chopped
couple carrots diced
1 stalk celery diced
2 garlic cloves diced
sprinkling of red pepper flakes
12 oz can chopped tomatoes
a handful of some small pasta shapes (I used tiny tubes called Brichetti)
extra olive oil and parmesan for sprinkling

Soak the beans overnight. Drain the beans and in a pot put the beans and cover with water. Let cook on low until tender - mine took about an hour, then salt. In another pan saute the mirepoix until soft then add the garlic and red pepper and cook another couple min. Add the sauteed veggies to the beans along with the tomatoes and cook another 15 min or until it's all tender, mashing up some of the beans. Meanwhile cook the pasta in salted water, drain saving some of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the beans and some of the reserved water to loosen it up a bit. Taste for salt. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with parmesan.

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