"16 Bean" Pasta e Fagioli
- serves 6
A classic Italian comfort food that's perfect for a hearty, satisfying meal.
1 bag 16 Bean Soup Mix
2 Tbsp good olive oil, plus extra for serving
6 oz pancetta, 1/4" - diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup dry red wine
4 - 6 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup miniature pasta, such as ditalini or tubettini
½ cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1 Tbsp good red wine vinegar
Julienned fresh basil leaves, for serving
1. The day before you plan to make the soup, place the bean mix in a large bowl, add cold water to cover by 2 inches, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, drain the beans, rinse under cold running water, and drain again. Place the beans in a large pot with 8 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and skim off any foam that rises to the top. The beans should be very tender and the skin will peel away when you blow on a bean.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium (10-inch) stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and onion and saute over medium to medium-high heat for 12 to 18 minutes, until browned. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for one minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, 4 cups of the chicken stock, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper and turn off the heat.
3. Drain the beans and add two-thirds of them to the soup. Pass the remaining beans through a food mill, discarding the skins. Stir the bean puree and the pasta into the soup, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender. Add up to 2 more cups chicken stock if the soup is too thick. Stir in the Parmesan and the vinegar. Ladle the soup into large shallow bowls and add a swirl of olive oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan, and some basil. Serve hot with extra Parmesan on the side.
"Cooking for Jeffrey" by Ina Garten © Clarkson Potter 2016. Provided courtesy of Ina Garten. All rights reserved.