Pasta e Fagioli
An Italian classic. As kids, we called it Pasta Fazoo. This recipe is adapted from The Dean & DeLuca Cookbook.
1/4 pound (about 1 cup) dried beans - Great Northern or Cannelini
1 T olive oil
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Dried herbs: basil, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup water
1 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 rind Parmesan (just trim the rind off of whatever size chunk of Parm you have on hand)
1/2 cup dried pasta (2 ounces) - use a small shape like ditali, orzo, elbows, or small shells
Pour olive oil into a soup pot and set over medium heat. Add the celery, onion and garlic and saute gently until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
Add broth, water, tomatoes, herbs, Parmesan rind, and beans and bring to a boil. Simmer gently until beans are cooked and soft, about 1-2 hours.
Remove cheese rind and bay lead and taste for seasoning, adding salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Add dried pasta to soup. Boil for 10-15 minutes, or until pasta is cooked thru.
Serve, garnished with fresh basil.