White Pasta Fagioli

white pasta fagioli

I don’t know about you but I’m still seeking out comfort foods, especially soup. On a rainy, dreary April day this white pasta fagioli is just what you need!

It’s nice to make a big pot and have it ready to heat up for lunch during the week, it’s so comforting and I know we can all use some comfort right now.

Let’s talk about the white version of pasta fagioli or “pasta fazool”which I grew up calling it. You won’t find any tomatoes in this version at all and although I love the tomatoey version, the white is hands down my absolute favorite!

making soup

There’s something about the smokey bacon flavor that goes so well with the beans, garlic, celery and onions, ( yes I use bacon). You could use pancetta if you like, but I prefer using bacon.

No elaborate ingredients go into this dish, in fact probably have some of the pantry items already, boxed stock, pasta and cannellini beans as well as celery, grated cheese, onions and garlic, staples you might have in your fridge.

beans and bacon

This actually takes no time at all to make, before you know it you’ll be enjoying a hot steamy bowl right in front of you, with some crusty bread I hope!

white fagioli

It’s so satisfying and it has that feel good flavor, I hope you find comfort in every bite!

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White Pasta Fagioli
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 slices smokey bacon, medium dice
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 large can cannellini beans, 1 lb. 13 oz or 2 regular sized cans, drain half of the liquid
  • ½ lb. of ditalini pasta or something similar that size
  • a handful chopped parsley
  • a generous handful of grated parmesan cheese
  • chicken stock in a box, or homemade if you have it, not quite a whole quart or depending on desired thickness
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes to taste
  • black pepper and salt to taste
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a heavy pot to cover.
  2. Cook the diced bacon until it gets slightly, crispy golden.
  3. If it's too greasy, remove and drain on paper towel, wipe out pan and add more olive oil and return the cooked bacon.
  4. Toss in the the garlic, onion and celery, cook til it softens, add in your red pepper flakes to taste (optional).
  5. Throw in the beans with the remaining liquid in the cans.
  6. Stir well, then pour in the chicken stock.
  7. Get it to a boil then simmer it for 15 to 20 minutes, it should thicken to the right consistency on its own.
  8. In the meantime boil the pasta on the side, a’dente then drain it.
  9. Turn off heat when soup is finished, add a big handful of grated parmesan and chopped parsley.
  10. Add a little bit of the pasta, reserving most of it for your individual bowls, this way the pasta won't blow up in the hot soup and you can take as much as you want for your bowl.
  11. Taste for seasoning on everything.
  12. Ladle into bowls adding a drizzle of olive oil, more cheese, black and red pepper.
  13. Enjoy!

 

 

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A Virtual Pot of Pasta Fagioli Soup for my Friends

As I sit in the comfort of my home taking heat and electricity for granted, I can’t stop thinking about all those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Lives were lost, homes destroyed, total devastation, many still without heat and power, and to make matters worse, snow is now on the ground.
I have friends who are affected by this storm, if I were closer I’d make them all a big pot of pasta fagioli soup, it’s warm, comforting, a complete meal with crusty bread and it feeds a bunch.
I stock up on cheese rinds in the winter, ( thank you Whole Foods) I always have them on hand in my freezer, so inexpensive but makes a world of difference in flavoring your broth, it makes the best soup ever!
Ditalini, my pasta of choice!
Ingredients for my soup are;
Garlic, leeks, onions, carrots, red potato, zucchini, white beans, swiss chard, crushed tomatoes, broth, pasta and cheese rinds, rosemary and thyme.
I wish I could tell you I measure but I don’t! I start out with a big pan, drizzle the bottom with olive oil then saute the first 6 ingredients ( generous amounts of all, just 2 crushed garlic cloves though) then open up and pour in 2 cans of white beans and a 14.5 oz can of crushed tomatoes. Add your chard then fill your pot to the top with broth, homemade or boxed, and throw in 3 cheese rinds and the fresh chopped herbs.
I cook my pasta, and keep it separate, adding as much as I want into my serving bowl. I never add it to the big pot, I don’t like when it blows up really big and gets mushy.
Let it simmer for a good hour or so until veggies are tender then add a generous handful of grated cheese and stir.
I can’t be near to help those in need, but by donating to the Red Cross I feel it’s the least I can do, and so can you, here’s the link!

Linda, Stacey, Pat, Maryann and Barbara, this pot’s for you! xox

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