Saturday, January 10, 2009

perfect for a cold day like today

It has been snowing like CRAZY today ...
So I decided to pull out our leftovers, and I was sure glad I made pasta e fagioli soup last night. It was the perfect meal for sitting in a warm house and watching the gorgeous white snow falling outside. I'm glad it's Saturday and Blake doesn't have to drive to work in this ...

I baked some wheat bread in my bread machine and it was really good, too. (Lisa, I just made the "honey white" bread recipe in the firm bread section of the book, and substituted 1 C of wheat flour for the bread flour and used extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. It was really moist, I think you'll love it.) I toasted it so it would soak up the bread better, and it was great.

If you want to make this soup and can't find Ditalini pasta, you can subtitute with stellini (little star shaped), orzo (rice shaped), or tubetti (little tubes). You definitely want to stick with a really small pasta for this recipe, though. The pasta expands so much that it wouldn't be very enjoyable with a big pasta.

Pasta e Fagioli
serves 6~8
3~4 slices of bacon, chopped medium
1 onion, chopped fine
4 garlic clvoes, minced
1 t dried oregano
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28 ounce) can diced/petite diced tomatoes
2 (15.5 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3-1/2 C low-sodium chicken broth
2-1/2 C water
8 oz Ditalini pasta (1-3/4 C)
1/4 C minced fresh parsley
2 ounces Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1 C)
extra virgin olive oil for serving
  1. Cook the bacon in a large dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Stin in the onion, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, beans, broth, water and 1 t salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the pasta and cook until just slightly underdone. Off the heat, stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle individual bowls with grated Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

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