Prep 1 hr
Cook 15 hrs
Venetians prize a soup made thick by using mashed beans. This recipe is based on the preparations at Venice's Fiaschetteria Toscana and Osteria alla Bomba. A tablespoon of salt may sound like a lot, but it is needed to bring out the beans' flavor. From Gourmet Magazine, 2000.
- 1 1⁄3 lbs dried cranberry beans
- 5 quarts cold water
- 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1⁄4 lb sliced pancetta or 1⁄4 lb bacon, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄3 lb ditalini (or other short tubular pasta)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Combine beans and water in an 8-quart heavy pot and soak, covered, 12 hours.
- Add vegetables and 1 tablespoon rosemary to pot and simmer, covered, until beans are tender, about 2 hours.
- Using a slotted spoon, set aside 1 heaping cup bean mixture, then reserve 2 cups cooking liquid separately.
- Force remaining soup through a food mill into a very large bowl.
- Cook pancetta in cleaned pot over moderate heat, stirring, until it begins to render its fat.
- Add remaining rosemary and cook, stirring, 15 seconds.
- Stir in puréed soup, reserved whole beans, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently and scraping bottom with a wooden spatula to keep soup from sticking to pot (thin with some of reserved bean liquid if necessary).
- Add pasta and simmer, stirring frequently, until pasta is cooked, about 12 minutes.
- Serve soup drizzled with olive oil.
- -This soup is best the day after it's made.
- Cool it uncovered, before chilling, covered, up to 4 days.
- -You can use a blender or food processor instead of a food mill to purée the soup, but pulse briefly.
- This soup should be textured and thick.
- Makes 4 quarts, serving 8 to 10.
We loved the rosemary in this soup, would add some garlic somewhere along the line, though. I made this in pressure cooker. Reduced the liquid to 2 liters and cooked 10 minutes. Released the pressure and pureed part of soup with a immersion blender, added the pasta and cooked until done. Very good!
I made this soup two days ago and thought it was good. We all had it last night and thought it was fantastic! Something good became even better. I'll be making this often. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Excellent version of pasta e fagioli. My family (kids included) are great bean eaters, and this soup was a delicious way to eat the. We don't have cranberry beans, so I used borlotti, and followed the rest of recipe. Used bacon, which flavoured the soup so well. This is a great autumn/winter dish!