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This year we are taking our “concession stand” up a notch by expanding our offering to include easy recipes like great soups, and one pot meals because man and woman cannot live on snacking alone. Our first addition is Pasta Fagioli.
It’s a cold, snowy night. All you want to do is have some hot soup and watch classic movies while forgetting the world outside. This soup is perfect and is ready in under an hour.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 – 4 medium-sized garlic cloves, finely minced
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil (1 tablespoon fresh)
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped seeds and pulp removed
2 medium tomatoes, seeds and pulp removed, pureed
¾ cups uncooked Ditalini or elbow pasta
1 can cannellini beans with liquid
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery and onions and sauté until tender, but not mushy. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to one minute. Do not brown.
Add 2½ cups of chicken broth to pot. Season with oregano, basil, rosemary and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add chopped and pureed tomatoes to pot. Simmer on low for 20 – 25 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until tender. Approximately 10 minutes.
Add beans and reserved liquids to pot and heat through. Ladle into bowls and tops with a dollop of fresh pesto, if desired.
Serve with freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese and crusty Italian bread.