Prep 20 mins
Cook 45 mins
Remember Dean Martin swooning his “pasta fazool?” This soup is what he meant when he swore it was Amore. Pasta e fagioli - meaning “pasta and beans,” is the traditional meatless bean soup that is now a popular worldwide gourmet item. Like many other Italian favorite recipes, pasta e fagioli was a peasant food dish, due to cheaply available, stomach-filling beans and pasta.
- 2 1⁄2 cups dried cranberry beans, about 3 cups fresh
- 1 garlic clove, whole
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary needles, minced (1/2 teaspoon dried)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces pancetta or 2 ounces prosciutto
- 1 1⁄4 cups good quality dried tubetti pasta
- salt & pepper
- If you’re using dried beans, sort them to remove stones or damaged beans and loose skins, soak them overnight and change the water at least once.
- Cook the beans in 2 liters (8 cups) of water, with the pancetta, garlic, rosemary and salt to taste until done—they should be quite soft.
- Remove half the beans from the pot with a slotted spoon and puree them through a food mill and toss them all back into the pot. Simmer the soup until it takes on a creamed velvety texture, with the whole beans bubbling along.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook the pasta in the soup until it is al dente.
- Adjust the seasoning, let the soup rest covered for a few minutes, then ladle the ambrosia into individual bowls, and serve drizzled with a thread of raw olive oil, paired with a nice red wine like a Chianti Classico.