Pasta Fagioli

This hearty Italian soup filled with barlotti beans, pasta and fresh rosemary is packed with protein and flavour and dressed up with a simple garlic crostini.


INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cup dried borlotti beans
4 cups of tomato purée
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3/4 cup of short pasta such as tubetti
2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
1 tbsp. chopped basil, for garnishing
Parmesan cheese, for garnishing
Extra virgin olive oil, for garnishing
Toasted baguette slices, for serving


PREPARATION

Soak beans in water for 12 hours. Rinse. Add to saucepan and cover with 5 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until beans are tender. Reserve the beans and the cooking liquid.

Add 1 cup of cooked beans, 1 cup of the cooking liquid and 2 cups tomato purée. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

Add olive oil to a large Dutch oven over medium heat. When oil is hot, add rosemary sprigs. Let the rosemary infuse the oil for 1 to 2 minute then remove. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the puréed bean and tomato mixture, the remaining whole beans, 2 cups remaining cooking liquid from beans and the remaining 2 cups tomato purée. Season the soup with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes. If soup becomes too thick, thin with water. If soup is too thin, remove lid and continue to cook down until reaches desired consistency.

Bring to a boil once again and stir in the pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente. Stir in parsley. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Garnish soup with fresh basil, Parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with toasted baguette slices.



Yield: 4 to 6 servings.