Pasta and Bean Soup (Pasta E Fagioli)
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.
- Ready In:
- 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.
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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!Reply
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!Reply