Wednesday, January 11, 2017

pasta e fagioli.

To counteract the effects of me eating my body weight in oysters and ridiculously good local beers while Tyler and I were in Charleston (oh and all the cookies I consumed before then), I've been on a bit of a soup kick.  

I've talked a lot about soup on this blog because I love it.  It's up there with cheese and peanut-butter as one of my favorite foods. It's satisfying and filling and it's my winter comfort food.  Most people think of comfort food, especially winter comfort food, as food involving cheese and butter.  But for me, brothy soups filled with pantry staples like beans, pasta, and carrots, is my kind of belly-warming comfort food.

This soup is about as basic as it gets but somehow all the basic ingredients come together to create a beautiful cohesive soup that makes cold January evenings all the more bearable.  

Pasta e Fagioli 
Recipe from Tasting Table

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 ounces pancetta, minced
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups dried white beans, soaked overnight
10 cups chicken stock
1 - 1 1/2 cups small pasta shells
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to tast
Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, for garnish

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, carrot, celery and onion, and cook until golden brown, 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, rosemary and garlic, and cook until the tomato paste is caramelized and the rosemary and garlic are fragrant, another 2 minutes.

Drain the soaked beans and add to the pot along with the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Add the pasta and cook another 10 minutes.

Taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide the soup between bowls and garnish with grated cheese. Serve.

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