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Pasta e Fagioli -- Pasta and Beans

Time

Yield

Ingredients

Ingredients

1/2 lb. dried kidney beans
3 to 4 slices bacon, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. sage
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 md. onions, chopped fine
2 md. carrots, chopped fine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp. tomato paste
6 cups water
1/2 tbsp. thyme
1 tbsp. rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb. pasta, uncooked (use a sm. elbow or
ditalini)

Instructions

Soak the beans overnight in cold water. In the morning drain the beans and place in a casserole and cover with fresh cold water. Add bay leaf, garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sage and place in a slow preheated oven, 250°F, for 1-1/2 hours, covered.

In a large dutch oven, saute bacon, carrot, celery, onion in hot olive oil. When all are soft, not browned, add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. Then add 6 cups of water, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 to 1-1/4 hours. When beans have baked the required time, remove from the oven. Remove the bay leaf. Puree, in a blender, about 1/3 of the beans. Add these, along with the whole beans to the dutch oven. Reserve the liquid from the beans. Add only enought of the bean liquid to make for a thick soup consistency. Bring the dutch oven to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer again and add pasta, rosemary and thymje. Stir to mix all ingredients. Salt and Pepper to taste. Cook with the pasta for about 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

Author's Comments

People who eat this dish like it at varying consistencies. Some like it soupy . . . others, like myself, like it thick . . . leaving it on the back of the stove keeping warm and getting a bit thicker all the time. If too thick, thin with water. Serve it with warmed Italian bread, very crusty . . . it's a meal in itself!

Taken from my cookbook, "Old Country Italian Cookbook", by Donald JP La Marca.

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