pasta e fagioli

photo by Jennifer Johnson 

Be sure to chop everything to match the size of the pasta for easy spoonfuls.

2 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups homemade (or low-sodium) vegetable stock
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 2-inch Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
4 ounces ditalini pasta (or other small tubed pasta)
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

  1. In a Dutch oven, add bacon and cook over medium heat until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Return pot to medium heat and add oil. Add onion and cook until softened, 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic, rosemary, parsley, and tomato paste and cook for another 1 minute. Add 1 cup stock and deglaze pan, scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan. And remaining stock, 1 can of beans, and Parmigiano-Reggiano rind. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  2. Mash remaining can of beans using a potato masher, until you have a thick paste and beans are broken down. Transfer mashed beans to pot and stir to combine.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 5-7 minutes, until al dente. Drain (reserving 1 cup of pasta water) and add pasta to soup. Taste soup and adjust for flavor. Add a bit of pasta water to soup if too thick. Remove and discard Parmigiano-Reggiano rind.
  4. Ladle soup into serving bowls and top with Parmigiano-Reggiano and some bacon and serve.

Serves 4.