Our dad recently mentioned how much he liked Pasta e Fagioli. His grandmother used to make it, and it was one of his favorites. Because Cook’s Illustrated is basically the best cookbook ever, and they had a recipe, we knew we had to try it. This soup did not disappoint! Without being heavy, it managed to have a rich and hearty flavor. This soup is fast to prepare (from start to finish, it takes only about 45 minutes) and the results are so good. We plan to make this many more times throughout the winter, because of its quick and delicious results. Nothing is better than a warm bowl of soup with some bread to dip on a cold day!
Pasta e Fagioli
Recipe via Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 slices bacon, chopped fine
1 onion, chopped fine
1 celery rib, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
1 (28-0unce) can diced tomatoes
1 Parmesan cheese rind
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
Salt and Pepper
1 cup orzo
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3-5 minutes. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, pepper flakes, and anchovies and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Add Parmesan rind and beans and bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend flavors, 10 minutes.
Add chicken broth, water, and t teaspoon salt to pot. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
Remove and discard Parmesan rind. Off heat, stir in three tablespoons parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining parsley. Serve immediately, passing grated Parmesan separately.
Side note: We recommend eating this immediately, since the pasta absorbs a lot of the liquid and it becomes less brothy the day after. It still tastes good, though!