Recipe by Alan in SW Florida
This is the kind of comfort food that's hard to pass up! Pasta e Fagioli, that beloved Italian soup, is turned into a casserole, topped with bread crumbs and Romano cheese, and baked until golden on top. Delicioso!!
- 8 ounces ditalini (1 3/4 cups)
- 2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (15 1/2 ounce) cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained (cannellini)
- 1 (16 ounce) canplum tomatoes with juice
- 3⁄4 cup chicken broth
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup grated romano cheese, plus
- 2 tablespoons grated romano cheese
- 2 slices firm white bread, torn into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large saucepot, cook pasta in boiling salted water as label directs. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water. Return pasta to saucepot; set reserved cooking water aside.
- Meanwhile, in a 4-quart saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until browned, stirring occasionally. With slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
- Pour off all but 1 teaspoon bacon fat from saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, and cook 1 minute, stirring. Stir in beans, tomatoes with their juice, chicken broth, pepper, and cooked bacon, breaking up tomatoes with side of spoon; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- To pasta in saucepot, add the bean mixture, 1/4 cup Romano cheese, and reserved pasta cooking water; toss well. Transfer mixture to a 3-quart casserole.
- In a small bowl, toss bread crumbs with parsley, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, remaining minced garlic, and remaining 2 tablespoons of Romano cheese until evenly coated. Sprinkle crumb mixture over the pasta. Bake pasta 15 to 20 minutes, uncovered, until hot and bubbly and top is golden.