Jenifer’s (World’s Best) Pasta Fagioli

4 Mar

Soups are one of my favorite things to make.  They warm my belly, make my house smell nice, and they feed tons of people (or make lots of leftovers when I am living alone).  During the winter, I typically make at least one pot of soup a week. Sunday is the perfect day for soup making because I always have some lunches pre-made for the week and I can be in and out of the kitchen as it cooks.

This recipe comes to me courtesy of Susan, Dr. J’s grandma (also the chef behind some of the beautiful desserts at our thanksgiving table this year).  As a white bean lover, this soup rocks.  It is incredibly flavorful (all that celery does wonders to the broth) and hardy. If you are looking for something to make today, give this a whirl!

Ingredients:

scant 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

8 cloves garlic, diced

1 large bunch celery, cleaned, trimmed and coarsely sliced

4 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini beans, not drained

2 cans  of 8 oz. no-salt-added tomato sauce

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (or to taste)

bag fresh baby spinach

1 cup fresh basil leaves

box ditalini pasta, cooked al dente

fresh grated pecorino romano

Directions:

In a large braising skillet or dutch oven, sauté the garlic in olive oil on medium heat until it just starts to turn golden.

Add the celery and stir to disperse the garlic throughout. Continue to cook over medium heat for 25 minutes, covered but stirring occasionally.

Add the beans with their juice. Fill each bean can with water, and add to the soup. Add tomato sauce and crushed red pepper flakes. Simmer for 25 minutes, covered for the first 15.

When ready to serve, stir in spinach and basil. Put some cooked pasta in individual bowls, and ladle hot soup over it. Serve with crusty bread and grated cheese.

The original recipes specifies that the pasta should touch the soup in the individual bowls and never be cooked together
to prevent the pasta from getting mushy – I was trying to fit this into a 30 minute lunch period and serve 10 co-workers, so I stirred in the cooked pasta at the end.  If I was making this for myself, I would add the pasta as I went.

I’m participating in SoupaPalooza! Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored byKitchenAidRed Star Yeast and Le Creuset

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