My husband’s family has a pasta fagioli recipe which has made my cookbook! It is very hardy and delicious and easy to pull together on those busy nights. This pasta fagioli recipe, however, is more like the traditional pasta fagioli recipe they make in Italy, and it’s more like a soup albeit hardy. The textures and flavors in this soup are so complex and delicious it will keep you and your family coming back for more. It’s a great option for those colder days when you want something warm and nourishing. Here are the directions.
Start by peeling the carrots and celery, then rinse and dry. Dice these into tiny bite size pieces and set aside. Then dice the onion. Put a few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil in the pan and let this heat up. Add in the diced carrots, celery and onions and let these simmer about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, open a large can of whole tomatoes with basil leaf, and set it aside. Rinse a handful of fresh parsley, discard the stems. Finely chop the parsley. Once the vegetables have sauted for 10 minutes, add in 1 container of chicken stock and 1/2 container of the whole tomatoes. Use a flat edge spoon to break apart the tomatoes.
For seasoning add 2 large bay leaves ( I am convinced bay leaves create the best flavor base especially for tomato sauce). Then, add the chopped parsley, sea salt and black pepper to taste. Add a few good drizzles of a good extra virgin olive oil as well. Allow this to simmer roughly 45 minutes or more.
In the meantime, cook 1/2 of a box of each pasta, combining them in the pot. The small pastas work the best in this dish. You will get a taste of everything in one delicious bite! I use the tiny shells and the Ditalini pasta, but you can mix it up! Cook these according to directions on the box. Be sure to add salt to the water!
Once the pasta is cooked and drained add it to the soup. You may need to add another 1/2 of a container of chicken stock, so have 2 on hand especially for the next day as the pasta will expand and absorb the liquid.
After 15 minutes taste the soup. This is an important element to cooking. Or better yet, dip in a chunk of bread. It should be about ready to serve. Keep on a low simmer. Serve with shaved Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheeses and a chunk of crusty Italian bread. As a garnish add fresh chopped parsley. Expect this meal to disappear fast. Call the family soups on’!