Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pasta e Fagioli

2 T. olive oil
1/8 # pancetta, chopped (or bacon)
2 (6") sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 (6") sprig of fresh thyme
2 dried bay leaves (or 1 fresh one)
1 finely chopped onion (medium)
1 finely chopped carrot (medium)
1 finely chopped rib of celery
4-6 large cloves of garlic, chopped
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans (or use dry beans, soaked and then cooked for about 1-2 hours)
2 (15 oz) can crushed or diced tomatoes (use one if you want less tomatoes)
2 cups water (or use bean water used to cook the dry beans)
1 qt. chicken stock
1 1/2 c. ditalini or other small pasta
Grated parmigiano cheese (for topping)

Cook pancetta or bacon in olive oil until browned nicely. Add fresh herbs, bay leaves, chopped veggies and garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add beans, tomatoes, water, stock and heat to boiling. Add the pasta and cook until it is al dente. The rosemary and thyme leaves should fall off the stem as the soup cooks. Remove the hard stem and bay leaf. Ladle into bowls and top with grated cheese.

Serve with crusty bread. Makes 6 hearty servings.

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