Pasta e Fagioli

It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. The short days mean hurrying to make the most of the day. Decorating the home for the holidays, visiting with family and friends, and shopping for gifts all while still keeping up with the daily activities of work and school can be overwhelming.

Preparing a meal or two in advance makes dinnertime a no stress affair. I like to have a couple quarts of a hearty soup such as Pasta e Fagioli on hand. That way I know a delicious dinner for my family just needs to be heated and served. And if friends stop by, I can offer a warm and comforting bowl of soup to restore energy and lift spirits at a moment’s notice.

Pasta e Fagioli is a classic stick-to-the-ribs Italian peasant soup. Literally, it is translated as “pasta and beans.” There are many variations of the dish. Some are more like soup with extra broth while others are thick and brimming with pasta.

This version of Pasta e Fagioli is loaded with small pasta, fennel flecked sausage, beans, tomatoes and vegetables. Like most soup recipes, it comes together quickly. The sausage is crumbled and browned in a stock pot. The aromatic vegetables including onions, carrots, celery and garlic are sautéed until just tender.

The remaining ingredients including canned tomatoes, dried herbs, and cannellini beans are added and simmered to meld the flavors. I like to prepare the small pasta such as ditalini or orzo separately and add it as the soup is simmering. That way it doesn’t soak up all of the stock. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese completes the robust soup. Add a loaf of warm Italian bread for a satisfying meal on a busy holiday night.

pasta e fagioli  1 nj herald 12.3.15

 

Pasta e Fagioli
Author: 
Recipe type: entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 qts
 
The soup can be prepared, cooled and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup ditalini or other small pasta
  • ½ pound Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to the directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a large stock pot to medium high heat and add the Italian sausage. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes and use a large spoon to break the sausage into small pieces as it cooks. When browned and cooked through, remove from the pot and set aside.
  3. In the same stock pot over medium high heat, add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté for 5 to 6 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the vegetables begin to soften.
  4. Add the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, and cannellini beans along with the cooked Italian sausage. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked pasta and heat for another minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon soup into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Notes
Recipe by Amy Casey

© 2015 amycaseycooks
www.amycaseycooks.com

 

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