Pasta e fagioli
I’ve discovered a new soup recipe to add to my list! I’ve realised that the soups I like best are either thick and creamy or verging on stews, and this one falls into both categories. It’s an Italian soup of pasta and beans - carbs with carbs, my favourite kind of meal.
I’ve seen variations in a couple of cookbooks, including Jamie’s Italy and Nigella’s Bites, so the one I made today took elements from both. I used a very simple homemade chicken stock, made with the carcass of Sunday’s chicken.
Pasta e fagioli
75g little pasta (I used baby farfalle - so cute - but you could use macaroni or any other mini variety/soup pasta you find)
1 tin of borlotti beans, rinsed
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
A sprig of fresh rosemary, finely chopped (if you don’t have any you could perhaps try dried herbs but it won’t be as good)
500ml chicken stock
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Salt & pepper
In a saucepan, fry the onions, garlic and rosemary on a low heat, with the lid on, for 15 minutes so that they soften but don’t brown.
Then tip in the beans and stock, stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Let this cook for half an hour.
Use a slotted spoon to take out about half the beans (some of the onion will of course come out with it, and that’s fine). Set these aside in a bowl.
Whizz the rest of the soup up until smooth using whatever blending machine you have.
The soup goes back into the pan and on the heat. Stir in the whole beans, along with a big pinch of salt and a regular pinch of pepper, and then add the pasta too.
Cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked (check packet instructions). Stir occasionally to make sure the soup isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan, which may happen if it’s a thick mix. If you feel it’s too thick and not soupy enough, stir half a mug of boiling water from the kettle.
Just before serving, check the seasoning and add the chopped parsley.
Tonight I had the flat all to myself, which is a rare occasion and therefore a real treat, so dinner was cooked with some Motown power ballads on full blast* (from both me and the speakers) and a glass of red in hand, and eaten in a lounging position on the sofa, still wearing an apron, whilst catching up on some crap telly. I had a whale of a time.
* The playlist included:
Respect (Aretha Franklin)
Ain’t No Mountain (Diana Ross)
My Girl (The Temptations)
You Make Me Feel (Aretha Franklin)
Baby Love (The Supremes)
What Becomes of the Broken-hearted (Jimmy Ruffin)
Sinnerman (Nina Simone)
You Can’t Hurry Love (The Supremes)
Stand By Me (Ben E King)
Signed Sealed Delivered (Stevie Wonder)
I Say a Little Prayer (Martha Reeves & the Vandellas)
Son of a Preacher Man (Dusty Springfield)
Rescue Me (Fontella Bass)