I'm sad to see the summer end but it does mean that we can get back to all the yummy cold weather dishes that get passed over during the sweaty times! And this Easy Pasta Fagioli is one of the best reasons to celebrate the return of cooler, crisp days (not that we've had an awful lot of those here in the Northeast in the last few days, but armed with this recipe, you'll be prepared!)
If you've been keeping up with the blog (and at this point I'm having trouble keeping up with it-so no judgment there!) you know that I'm in the thick of rehearsals for my new show so cooking time is at a premium. I feel bad for my poor family who have been facing an uncharacteristically empty fridge many a night. This soup, which can not only be made in under 30 minutes, but only gets better after a few days in the fridge, is a godsend! It's chock full of beans and veggies and super tasting too! The look of joy on my husband's face when I whipped up this soup this weekend and he knew there would actually be something for him to eat in the fridge besides yogurt and leftover pizza was priceless! Make this for someone you love tonight and i guarantee you'll get that same look!!
Easy Pasta Fagioli
Makes 4-5 servings
Prep Time: About 30 minutes
- One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 shakes red pepper flakes
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- Two 15-ounce cans red kidney beans with liquid
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup ditalini or other small pasta
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top (optional)
1. Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and squeeze each one with your hands to break it up--careful, they squirt so do it gently. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, for about 3-4 minutes, until the onion is softened but not browned. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the chicken stock, beans and bay leaves. Bring to boil over high heat and then lower to a low simmer. Let cook for 20 minutes, adding the pasta for the last 10 minutes or so, according to the package directions. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve, sprinkling with the Parmesan cheese if desired.
3. Soup can be made several days ahead and kept refrigerated in an airtight container.
Note: Recipe adapted from The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. I left out the 3 ounces of pancetta which you can saute for a few minutes before adding the onions, garlic etc. if you like and the oregano and fiddled around with some of the other spices.