Due to a request on my previous post about Italian food and specifically Pasta Fagioli, this post is about how to make the soup. I wrote about a funny anecdote about Ron first tasting pasta fagioli at my mom’s place. There is more.
We stayed at my mom’s that night and the next morning, my mom asked us what we wanted for breakfast. Ron says “Do you have anymore of that soup left?”. I about fell over. Did my mom ever love that! And of course she had some soup because she cooks for a gazillion! At that point, I knew that if Ron and I split up, my mom would go with him.
I told Ron that! Maybe that’s why he asked me to marry him! And from time to time, I would remind him that if we separated, mom would go with him! It worked! We’re still together 34 years later. Hmmm, or maybe he just doesn’t want to go without pasta fagioli?
Here is my mom’s recipe. Now understand, this is the closest I could get her to giving me quantities. When she taught me how to make bread, she used coffee cups to measure water and flour!
Drain beans and add the following:
- Fresh water to cover 2 inches above the beans
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 whole onion, chopped
- 3 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, skinned and chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- Grated parmesan or romano cheese
- Optional: 1 ham hock
Cook until the beans are done. If you have added the ham hock, remove it and cut the meat off the bone discarding the fat and add the meat back to the soup chopped.
Cook pasta (small shells or elbows) until half done. (So you are asking how much pasta. That depends on whether you like a lot or middling or some. I prefer middling to some because the pasta expands and you end up with stew! ) Drain all liquid from the pasta except for one-two cups. Add the pasta liquid to the soup to the consistency that you like, add the pasta and continue to cook until done about 3-5 minutes.
You can also cook the pasta completely and add it to the soup with some water, cook for a minute or so and serve.
Just before serving add:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Stir and serve! You can pass grated parmesan or romano cheese to add as desired.
Note: If you plan on freezing any of it, freeze the bean soup without the pasta and make fresh pasta when you thaw it.
You can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. This is not a strong flavored soup but it is warm and gratifying.
Please come back and let me know if you made the soup and how you liked it! I’d love to hear all about it.