Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli is my favorite soup. By far. When I get it at restaurants, it is much different than the version I grew up with, and when I see Mario and Giada make it, it is definitely different from either of those. So what gives? Well after doing some research, I realized that this soup started as a meal of leftovers. Whatever you had that was about to go bad, throw in the soup. Pasta Fagioli really just means pasta and beans, so if it has those two things, I think you are on the right track. Here is my take on my grandmothers version. She gave the recipe to my mother a few years ago after years and years of hiding it, and we were all surprised it was so easy. I changed a few things to protect the family secrets…errrr I mean because I like it this way! I know first week of September is still pretty hot for most people, but that chill is seeping into the air. If you make this on the first chilly or rainy day, you will be extremely satisfied!

This is what I call super rustic chop.

Realllll rustic.

you remember how to make meatballs right? Well if you have some you made earlier in the freezer, this meal is that much easier! We didn’t, but were able to make some really quick.

We fried them instead of the usual broil to save time and effort.

Pepperoni makes this soup delicious!

Peppers and onions in the pot with olive oil and the pepperoni. Also salt and pepper and some red pepper flakes.

Fast forward! I added equal parts chicken stock and canned tomatoes that I crushed in my fingers. Then added the meatballs, parmesan, the parm rind, oregano, 2 bay leaves, and more pepper and crushed red pepper. I would have written this into the picture, but I thought it was pretty and didn’t want to ruin it. Yes I said pretty.

Of course this is my favorite soup. There is sausage, meatballs, and pepperoni.

Always rinse beans when you use them from a can.

Add them at the end, after you have simmered this for half hour to an hour, or more if you like. We used the traditional cannellini beans, and chickpeas cause we like them.

mmmmmm

Cook the pasta separately, and put it in the bottom of the bowl. This is one of the few times when I cook pasta and don’t put it with the sauce to cook for the last minute or two. This is because normally I want the 2 separate entities to become one as Mario says, but in this case I want the pasta to be separate and stand out form the soup. It is important to use little ring pastas. I like ditalini, but this is all they had at the store. It’s pretty close.

Dump the goodness right on there.

YES! This has real big chunks and is almost stewy (stewp if you are a Rachael fan.)

Meatballs

Put diced peppers, onions and pepperoni and salt/pepper into deep pot and cook 10 minutes until onions almost brown. Add garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add equal parts chicken stock and crushed tomatoes. Add oregano, bay leaf, parmesan, pepper, crushed red pepper, parmesan rind, cooked meatballs, and cooked sausage. Simmer lightly for a half hour or up to 2 hours. Add beans. Cook pasta. Put pasta in bowl, cover with soup, add parmesan shavings. Burn your tongue. Tell yourself that you will have patience next time you eat soup and not burn your tongue. Do not learn from your mistake.