Pasta E Fagioli – (Bean and Pasta Soup)

1 cup Dried cannellini or Great Northern; soaked
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1  Onion; minced
1  Celery stalk; minced
1  Carrot; minced
1/2 pound Smoked ham; diced
2  Garlic cloves; minced
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes; including liquid
4 cups Beef stock
1 tablespoon Minced fresh thyme; or 1 tsp dried
1  Bay leaf
  Freshly-ground black pepper; to taste
  Rind from a piece of Parmesan chees
2/3 cup Dried small pasta
  Minced fresh basil; for garnish
  parmesan; grated for garnish

Drain the beans and set aside.

In a large stockpot heat the oil over moderate heat until hot.  Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add ham and garlic and cook stirring, 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, beans, beef stock, thyme, bay leaf and pepper to taste.  Add the Parmesan rind.  Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

Transfer 1/2 cup of the beans to a small processor or blender and puree. Return beans to pot and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring liquid to a boil and add pasta.  Simmer until pasta is tender — about 6 minutes. Garnish with basil and cheese.

Source:  David Rosengarten

6 servings


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