Life has been busy and there has been much excitement in our house this week...and much happiness. My son was accepted to his first college, it is one of his "safety" schools but none the less he was thrilled! He has an alumni interview coming up for one of his reach schools, so we all have our fingers crossed on that one... We are all very positive and feeling "Yes he can!"....
This is a recipe of mine for a quick pasta e fagioli...it uses mainly items from the pantry and can be a good and quick meal on a busy night. Here in New Jersey, Pasta e Fagioli is lovingly known as "Pasta Fazoole"...not the correct name, but a name nonetheless!
Pasta "Fazoole" ala Jazzy
2 32 oz. boxes Swanson Chicken Broth(low sodium/99%fat free) or the eqivalent amount in cans 3 15.5 oz.cans cannellini beans (rinsed and drained) 1/2 pound ditalini pasta, cooked al dente, set aside 4 oz. pancetta, finely diced 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning or Olive Oil and Garlic 1 small 8 oz. can tomato sauce 1/2 large onion, finely diced 1 carrot, finely diced 2 ribs celery, finely diced 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 3 T. Olive Oil 4 sprigs fresh thyme 1 large sprig fresh rosemary 1 or 2 bay leaves freshly ground black pepper and a good pinch of red pepper flakes kosher salt to taste
Tie the thyme, Rosemary, and Bay leaves in a piece of cheesecloth to form an herb sachet. Or simply tie the herbs with some butcher's twine.
Heat Olive Oil in a soup pot and saute veggies and pancetta and a pinch of red pepper flake until veggies are translucent and soft.
Add broth, 2 cans of the beans, the tomatoes, tomato sauce and the herb sachet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15-20 minutes. Remove the herb sachet.
At this point I use an immersion blender and roughly puree the soup in the pot. There are still some chunks and beans. If you do not have an immersion blender, puree half of the soup in your blender, just be careful...place a towel over the top of the blender so it does not explode because of hot liquids. Return to pot. Add the third can of beans and the pasta. Simmer 10 minutes. Give it a good grinding of black pepper. Serve it with grated Locatelli(or Parmesan)...a drizzle of Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil...and a nice hunk of bread.
Some folks like this really thick, I like it more soupy. If it is too thick for you add some more broth. Leftovers will become very,very thick...I always thin it out with more broth...
I of course have made this with homemade chicken broth and it is wonderful...I have used dried beans as well...and it is great too. But these are things I almost always have in my pantry and can make a quick delicious dinner in very little time.