This soup is my way of welcoming the cooler fall weather; that is, assuming you live somewhere cooler than the oven that is currently Phoenix, AZ. Here in the desert, we'll be enjoying our soups with the a/c on high for at least another month.
This Pasta E Fagioli is a recipe from my friend Liz's new eCookbook: Food From Our Ancestors: The Ultimate Italian Sunday Dinner. The cookbook is filled with Liz's family's favorite Italian recipes and each one makes me want to pull up a chair and dive in. The Shrimp Scampi is next on my list and I can hardly wait!
COOK'S NOTE: Tips for a heartier meat-lovers meal: This soup will also be great with a pound or so of chopped roast chicken, ground beef, or Italian sausage. My kids and husband are more inclined towards stews and chowders than soups, so my only adjustment to this recipe was reducing the liquid.
Pasta E Fagioli
recipe lightly adapted from The Ultimate Italian Sunday Dinner
Yield: 6 servings
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, chopped small
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian option)
1 15-ounce can light red kidney beans, drained
1 15-ounce can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained
1 15-ounce can white beans or great northern beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt, only as needed, adjust to taste
1/2 pound ditalini or elbow pasta, cooked according to package
1-2 ounces fresh Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, shaved or grated
optional: bread for serving
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and spices. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir well. Reduce the heat to low and cook 2 more minutes. Add the chicken stock and beans to the pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 20 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta, drain and rinse to cool. Stir the cooked pasta into the soup just before serving. Top with cheese and serve with bread, if desired. Enjoy!
If you're looking for some great family dinner inspiration and you love Italian food, Food From Our Ancestors: The Ultimate Italian Sunday Dinner is exactly what you need. Buon Appetito!