It’s officially fall and after an unusually sunny early September, the weather finally settled into the typical cool, windy Alaska autumn.
It’s perfect soup weather. There’s something so satisfying about making soup from scratch. Usually I have all the ingredients I need and it’s a therapeutic process to chop, sauté and simmer until you have a meal that warms you through and through.
The recent issue of Cook’s Country magazine has a simple recipe for Pasta e Fagioli. I made it this week and added my own flair to the recipe.
Hearty Italian Pasta and Bean Soup
- 2, 15-ounce cans of white beans such as cannellini, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped fine
- 2 celery ribs, chopped fine
- 2 carrots, washed and chopped fine
- 2.5-3 oz. pancetta, chopped fine
- pinch of salt
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- dash of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 ounces mini pasta shapes such as shells or ditalini
- 3 handfuls baby super greens, chopped
- 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
Place one can of rinsed beans and the water in a blender and blend till smooth.
In a dutch oven or large saucepan, add a glug of olive oil and heat until oil is shimmering. Add the onion, celery, carrot, pancetta, salt and pepper and cook until veggies are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add tomato paste, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the broth, basil, other can of beans, and pureed beans. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
Add the pasta and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When pasta has cooked for 5 minutes, stir in the greens and increase heat if needs be to remain at a boil. When pasta is al dente, remove pot from heat and stir in the cheese.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cheese.