Pasta e Fagioli

Nothing makes you feel better than a warm bowl of savory soup on a rainy snowy day…  

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 vidalia onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 – 28 oz. can of Pastene ‘Kitchen Ready’ tomatoes
  • 2 cups water (you could also use 1 cup water, 1 cup chicken broth if you have it on hand)
  • 1 – 6 oz. can of Hunt’s tomato paste
  • 3 cans of white cannellini beans (with the starch)
  • 2 links of sausage (I use one hot and one mild)
  • 1/4 lb. – 1 lb. ditallini pasta
    • The amount of pasta you use totally depends on how “soupy” you want this dish to be — if you use the full lb. it’s more like a meal than a soup
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Parmesan cheese (Optional: mix in 3/4 cup grated parmesan into the soup at the end)
  • Optional: mix in a hefty splash of cream to add some richness to the soup

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Remove the sausage from its casing and brown it in the bottom of a large soup pot
  • Chop up the fresh garlic and onion and saute it with the sausage in the pot with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp sugar – add the onions first, then the garlic to avoid burning the garlic
  • Add in the Pastene ‘Kitchen Ready’ tomatoes, Hunt’s tomato paste and 2 cups of water
  • Season with salt, pepper and parsley
    • Simmer the contents of the pot for 30-40 mins (bring it to a boil and then reduce to medium-high heat)
  • While the soup is simmering, cook the dittalini in a separate pot
  • Once the soup has simmered for 30-40 minutes, add in the 3 cans of cannellini beans with the starch and the pasta
  • Reduce heat to low and let the soup cook for another 10 minutes – at this point if you want to add cheese and cream to the soup, do so now; otherwise, serve up a bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese!
    • Note: if the soup becomes too thick you can thin it out by simmering water mixed with tomato paste (approximately 2 cups of water to every 6 oz. of tomato paste), garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley  – once this mixture has simmered for at least 10 minutes, you can add it back into your soup