Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Easy Favorite Winter Dinner

Cool weather has finally come to the Appalachians. To celebrate turning the heat on, I made a pot of my favorite soup, Pasta e Fagioli. This soup is hearty and filling plus it is done in under 30 minutes, but it tastes and smells like you slaved all day on it.

I don't do a lot of measuring, so if this makes you uncomfortable, I'm sorry, but this soup is pretty forgiving. Don't worry and just go with the flow. If you get a little more of this or less of that don't worry. It will work out. The secret to this recipe is olive oil and lots of it!

Pasta e Fagioli
Olive oil
½ - 1 pound of cubed ham
2 cans of Great Northern White Beans or Cannelini
1 can of Italian diced tomatoes, drained
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
I small onion diced
1 quart of chicken stock
1-2 cups small pasta (small shells, etc)

Heat a large soup pot to medium. Add a liberal coating of olive oil. Lightly brown your ham. Add onions and garlic and sauté until tender. Add in one quart of chicken stock. Add in one can of beans, drained, and one can with the juice. Add drained tomatoes. Stir and bring to a boil. When the soup is at a rapid boil, add in your pasta and cook until al dente.

Serve in bowls, drizzled with olive oil and topped with parmesan cheese. With a chunk of crusty bread to mop of the liquid, it is a great meal.

While the onions are cooking, you can add in diced carrots and celery, but we don't always have it on hand and it adds to the cooking time.

If you wanted to do a vegetarian version, you could sub vegetable stock for chicken stock and take out the ham, but you would have to add salt to make up for the ham. I would definitely add in the carrots and celery to round out the soup in a vegetarian version.



Cathy said...

ah, an old italian recipe and a favourite of mine - yummy - especially in winter :)

Sandra Eileen - Artisan Jewelry For Your Good Life said...

Yes.. veg version is wonderful.

~Stella said...

I thought it would never get cold here (I'm on VA near DC) but now that it has, I miss summer already. The recipe sounds lovely and I'll have to try it!


Gina said...

I agree, the veggie version of Pasta e Fagioli is delicious! I'm enjoying the 'cool' here too but it just means I can wear my short sleeves instead of sleeveless!

Judith Frederick said...

Sounds wonderful.... can't wait to try it!