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Pasta e Fagoli

The name of this dish is quite literal, as it translates from Italian to “pasta and beans”. It originated as a peasant dish, since it uses just a few humble ingredients relying on beans and pasta as the filler for a hearty meal. 
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Keyword beans, fagoli, pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried cranberry beans
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 5 ounces diced pancetta
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch Tuscan kale, roughly chopped
  • ½ pound small pasta, like ditalini shell or elbow
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions

  • Soak cranberry bean in a medium bowl covered with water overnight.
  • Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown all over but not hard, about 6 minutes.
  • Then add the carrot, celery and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender about an additional 6 minutes. Add the garlic continuing to sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about an additional 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, 4 cups of water and bay leaves.
  • Drain the beans then add to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil then lower heat to medium-low and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.
  • Add the kale and pasta, stirring to combine and cooking until the pasta is just al dente and the kale has wilted, about 6 minutes. The pasta will continue to cook in the hot broth.
  • Ladle the soup into soup bowls and top with grated Parmesan. If the pasta soaks up too much of your broth, just add an additional cup of water.