Pasta e Fagioli
To reduce soaking time, place dried beans in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off, let the beans stand for one hour, and drain.
- 8 ounces dried great northern beans (1 1/4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 ribs celery, strings removed, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (2 large cloves)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
- 4 ounces orechiette pasta
- 1 medium Yukon gold potato (about 6 ounces), peeled
- 2 whole canned tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
- 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh packed parsley leaves
- 5 large fresh sage leaves
- 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place beans in a small stockpot, cover with cold water, and let soak overnight. Drain beans; set aside. Dry stockpot.
Melt butter in stockpot over medium-low heat. Add celery, onion, and 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic; saute until translucent. Add beans, 1 tablespoon rosemary, stock, potato, tomatoes, pepper, and 3 1/2 cups water. Raise heat to high; bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer until beans are tender, about 1 1/4 hours. Fifteen minutes before soup is done, stir in salt.
Meanwhile, bring a stock pot of cold, salted water to a boil over a high heat. Add pasta and cook until slightly underdone, 5 to 6 minutes; set aside. Pass soup through a food mill, holding back one-third of whole beans. Return soup and beans to the stockpot along with the pasta. Keep warm over low heat.
Chop remaining 1/4 teaspoon garlic and tablespoon rosemary with basil, parsley, and sage until finely minced. Stir into soup, and divide among six soup bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with 1 tablespoon Parmesan; serve immediately.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, March 1997