For me, nothing answers the call of comfort food better than a hot bowl of Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Bean Soup). The rich stock, tasty bites of beans and pasta, makes this soup hearty. Of course, like an authentic tomato sauce, there are many variations of this staple of the Italian kitchen. Therefore, you’ll find different recipes in every household.
I like to add small chunks of genoa salami. After all, pork and beans go well together. Perhaps at a later date, I’ll ask mom for her “lighter” white bean recipe.
1 – Small White Onion (Do a medium dice according to Onions 101)
2 – Teaspoons of Chopped Garlic
1 – Can of Red Kidney Beans (Reserve half of the liquid)
1 – Quarter inch thick slice of Genoa Salami (Go for two slices if you prefer an even heartier soup)
1 – Pinch of Sugar
1 – Beef Stock (Yes, I said stock not buillion)
2 – Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 – Ounces of White Wine (I prefer White Zinfandel)
8 – Ounces of Tomato Sauce or Plain Crushed Tomatoes
8 – Ounces of your favorite dried pasta (Elbows, Ditalini, Tubetini, or Small Shells)
Salt* & Pepper to taste
*The amount of salt depends on the brand of cooking stock and if it’s a low or non-sodium version.
Step 1: Dice the onion and cut the salami into small bite sized cubes
Step 2: Put the olive oil into a soup pot and heat
Step 3: Sauteé the onions until tender and limp, but not browned.
Step 4: Add the garlic (Remember garlic cooks very fast) Cook for 1 minute
Step 5: Add the wine (Let the alcohol cook out 1-2 mins.)
Step 6: Add the tomato sauce, beef stock, salami, and Kidney beans with reserved liquid
Step 7: Add one pinch of sugar*. Let simmer to allow flavors to mingle
*The nitrates in cured pork products can leave a nasty aftertaste. The sugar will cancel it out.
Step 8: In a separate pot, bring enough water to boil in order to cook the pasta according to box directions. You shouldn’t cook or store the soup and pasta together.
Step 9: Put one half ladle of cooked pasta into a bowl and add two ladles of the soup. Serve with a piece of crusty Italian bread for a hearty meal.
Step 10: Enjoy it! Mangia Bene!
Comment below if you attempt or plan on attempting this recipe.
Ernesto San Giacomo is the author of Ragged Souls