Monday, January 31, 2011

Pasta Fagioli

This is the best Pasta Fagioli EVER!

For the beans:
1 lb. dry Cranberry beans (Borlotti)
2 large garlic cloves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Salt

For the soup:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I use Cento brand Chef's Cut)
6 oz. Ditalini or other small pasta shape
1/2 tsp. Salt
pepper to taste
For the beans:
Wash the beans and the soak them overnight in a big pan according to the package directions.

The next day drain the beans and rinse them.
Heat a large pan and add oil, garlic and rosemary. You may want to wrap with cheese cloth or put into a cloth tea bag as the leaves will fall off.
Add the beans and enough water to cover.
Bring to a boil and the reduce the heat to a simmer.
Cover simmer for about 1.5 hours.
Remove the lid, add the 2 tsp. salt and let them simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes or until cooked. Add more water if needed. They should be creamy, not soupy when they are ready.
Remove the rosemary and set aside the beans as you work on the soup.
You can make the beans the day before if you'd like.
For the soup:
In a large pan saute the onions in the olive oil.
Meanwhile, take 2/3 of the beans and blend them in a blender, set the other 1/3 aside.
When the onions are soft add all the beans, tomatoes (drain if they are in water; I don't drain the Cento brand), 4 cups of water and the salt.
Bring to a boil and add the pasta, reduce the heat and simmer until the pasta is cooked.
Add the pepper and stir well.
If you think it is too thick add more water.
Serve shredded Parmesan cheese and olive oil at the table. Personally, I like to top with a drizzle of olive oil.

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