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Pasta e Fagioli

Provided by: Chef Jonathan Benno
Served at: Lincoln

  • Type of Dish: Main Courses
  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review

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Some of the best cold-weather eating, after all, involves beans: cassoulet, minestrone, ribollita, chili, and pasta e fagioli (or pasta fazool, depending on where you’re from). Try this version of the latter from Lincoln Ristorante’s Jonathan Benno, which uses an heirloom bean variety.

Ingredients

2 cups dried heirloom beans (cannellini or borlotti, at Formaggio Kitchen at Essex Market)
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup Parmesan rinds
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh sage
5 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed-red-pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups ditalini or tubetti pasta, cooked
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbs. freshly grated Parmesan

Instructions

(1) In a bowl, cover the beans with about 2 inches of cold water. Soak the beans in the refrigerator for 2 days and (2) drain. Place 6 to 8 cups of chicken stock (or enough to cover the beans by about 1 inch), Parmesan rinds, and all fresh herbs and bay leaves in a pot. Bring to a simmer, but do not boil. Let the stock simmer for 1 hour. Strain the herbs and the Parmesan rinds. Add dried oregano and crushed-red-pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Place the beans in the stock, and gently simmer until the beans are creamy in the center (do not boil or allow the skins of the beans to burst), approximately 2 to 3 hours. (Meanwhile, heat the remaining stock in a saucepan, and if the liquid in the pot starts to get low, add more hot stock.) When the beans are tender, add the pasta. Season to taste. Place the soup in a serving bowl. (3) Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, pepper, and Parmesan.

 See also: 

In Season: Jonathan Benno’s Pasta e Fagioli (Published 2013)
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