The cold, short days have set in (sigh). But, the good news is, comfort food to warm our bellies is back in full force. Today I’m sharing a recipe for authentic Pasta e Fagiole. Not only because it’s a quintessential soup that’s perfect to thaw you out on those chilly days but also, because I get to top it off with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
I’ll get back to the soup shortly but first let’s talk more about Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. It’s long aging process makes it rich and sharp in flavor. (It’s also lactose free- for those that are often impacted by dairy, like me). I was first introduced to true Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on my trip to Reggio Emilia, Italy. I went to a cheese producer and saw the life of the cheese from start to finish. It’s truly an art, and the finished product is a masterpiece! For authentic Parmigiano Reggiano it must originate from Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena or a few other small parts of provinces in Italy. It has been exclusively made in these regions for over centuries. With just 3 ingredients (milk, salt and rennet) it’s as local and simple, in terms of ingredients, as it gets. Look for the pin dots on the cheese rind to ensure its authenticity.
After indulging for 10 days straight on my visit, there was no way I could go back to the imposter, mass produced, pre-grated cheese they pawn as Parmesan we find in our supermarkets. There is truly nothing like shaving true Parmigiano Reggiano over my favorite pastas, salads or in today’s case, soup! It has an intense flavor that is unparalleled and it just compliments and stands out on every dish you pair it with. It’s also my absolute favorite cheese board addition! Put it along side a fig jam with artisan crackers and wow!!! (I promise the combo will make your mouth happy!)
While I could go on for days about Parmigiano Reggiano cheese I’ll get back to the soup for a quick moment. Pasta e Fagiole stands for pasta and beans in Italian. One of the best parts is that it’s almost all pantry staples that compose this dish. So no need to run out into the cold, just look to your shelves. Oh and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes!
An authentic pasta e fagiole doesn’t have a tomato based broth, mirepoix or ground beef/sausage. I’ve seen so many variations out there and while they may still make it a delicious soup, it doesn’t mean it’s how they make it over in the Motherland! An authentic pasta e fagiole also tends to be a thicker consistency. And no, it’s not heavy cream or a roux making that effect. It’s simply purée of some of the cannelloni beans.
See below for the very quick, very very delicious recipe. And don’t forget to top it off with lots and LOTS of Parmigiano Reggiano, it gives it the bite and complexity that make it the cherry on top (or should I say cheese?!)
Read more about the health benefits of Parmigiano Reggiano here:
#ParmesanAmbassador #ParmigianoReggiano #Cheese
…all for the love of the dish
This post has been sponsored powered by BrandBacker. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
- 3 cans cannelloni beans
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 lb ditalini or tubini pasta (or any small shape you
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 oz diced pancetta
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- Salt and pepper
- In a Dutch oven or stock pot add 1 tbsp olive oil and turn to medium high heat on your stovetop.
- Add diced onion, rosemary (the full sprig, no need to do any chopping) and pancetta and cook for 5-7 minutes or until pancetta is just starting to crisp.
- Add minced garlic. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove sprig if rosemary but keep to the side, you will need it again.
- Add 1.5 cans of the cannelloni beans with their juice from the can. Stir well.
- Using an immersion blender, pulse until mostly smooth but still just slightly chunky.
- Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and remaining 1.5 can of beans (ringed from the juices). Season with crushed red pepper and salt and black pepper to taste. Add the sprig of rosemary back in to the pot.
- Bring to a boil, add pasta and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the stovetop off and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. The pasta will cook through and soup with thicken. If it is too thick for you, just add more broth! I like it thick and creamy personally!
- Remove the rosemary and discard.
- Divide into bowls and top off your bowls with shaved Parmesan cheese (the most important part!!) and crusty bread