The classic bean and pasta soup of Italy.Author:
Chef Lisa Rembold
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
1 Slice Pancetta or Ham, finely chopped or sub 2 slices bacon
1 Large Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1 Cup Carrots finely diced
1 Celery stock finely diced
Freshly ground black pepper
5 Cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
1 Spring Fresh Thyme
1 15 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
2 15 oz Cans Cannelinni Beans, drained and rinsed.
4 cups Chicken Stock
4 cups Uncooked Ditalini or other hollow pasta noodle
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil for serving
Grated pecorino-romano cheese for serving
Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and bacon or pancetta. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon or pancetta is crisp, and the fat is rendered.
Using a slotted spoon remove the meat, and set it on a paper towel to drain. Leave the rendered fat in the pot. Add the onions, carrots and celery, plus a few pinches of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are well browned but not burnt. Add the garlic, and let cook for 30 seconds or just until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, fresh thyme, beans and chicken stock. Raise heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook about 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
Add the pasta and cook, maintaining a low simmer, until pasta is al dente. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.
Ladle the soup into bowls, then drizzle with a little olive oil, reserved pancetta or bacon, fresh basil, and cheese.
This soup should be served with a crusty Italian loaf, and plenty of good red wine!
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