I’m a huge fan of Valerie Bertinelli’s cooking show. I love how she cooks authentic Italian dishes…just like my Nana used to. This one is a particular favorite of mine (and my hubby and dad’s as well). Perfect for those chilly winter evenings….and it just gets better as it sits.
Pasta e Fagioli
by Valerie Bertinelli
½ yellow onion
1 rib celery with leaves, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
2 plum tomatoes, diced, juices reserved (I substitute with 1 can diced tomatoes)
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary (I substitute with 1 tsp. Italian seasoning)
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (I’ve increased this to 5 cups)
1 cup ditalini, elbows, or tripolini pasta
One 15.5 ounce can cannellini beans or kidney beans, rinsed & drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for sprinkling
Combine the onion, celery, carrot and oil in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes with their juices, bay leaf, rosemary sprig and 3 cups of the broth. Bring to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf and rosemary sprig.
Add the remaining cup of broth and the pasta.
Add the beans and simmer gently until the pasta is cooked through, about 12 minutes.
Taste the soup and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.
I always double this one so that the hubby and I can have leftovers. I do sometimes simmer it longer than is necessary, and if needed I add water. I usually serve it with homemade focaccia bread.