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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Remembering Italy

My husband and I were in Italy a few years ago. Everywhere we went the small Trattoria's were serving bowls of amazing Pasta Fagioli soup. We had eaten this soup several times back in the states' (both being Italian heritage), but this soup was like nothing we had ever eaten before! It had a chicken broth base, but was thicker in consistency. I think we ordered a bowl of that soup at every meal just so we could figure out how it was made! We finally came up with the idea that it had to have been pureed northern beans that was making the broth thick. As soon as I got home I went to work and came up with my own recipe. Enjoy!

Pasta Fagioli

  • 1 small white onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 2 TB. butter
  • 2TB. olive oil
  • 1 (12 oz.) can chopped tomatoes with juice (preferably san marzano)
  • 1 (12 oz.) can white northern beans with juice ( to keep whole)
  • 1 (12 oz.) can white northern beans with juice ( to puree)
  • 2 large carrots - peeled, and chopped fine
  • 4 pieces of cooked bacon crumbled or 3 TB packaged pre-cooked crumbled bacon
  • 8 cans low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 TB. chopped fresh italian parsley
  • 1 bag baby spinach or escarole (pre-washed)
  • 1/2 lb small pasta - precooked
  • seasoning to taste: oregano, basil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
  • fresh grated parmesean cheese to garnish

  1. Melt butter with the olive oil in a large stock pot.
  2. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add carrots, bacon and italian parsley to pot. Saute for 3-5 minutes.
  4.  Add canned tomatoes with their juice along with the can of beans that were to be left whole.
  5.  In a bowl add the second can of beans along with a 1/2 cup of chicken broth. With hand blender make a puree until smooth. ( can also use a blender)
  6.  Add bean puree to the pot.
  7.  Add the rest of the chicken broth and all seasonings to the pot.
  8.  Simmer soup for about 30 minutes.
  9.  Add spinach and pre-cooked pasta.
  10.  Cook for about 10 more minutes - until spinach is wilted.

 To serve: ladle in a large soup bowl and garnish with parmesean cheese

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