Monday, January 21, 2013

Pasta Fagioli

 Last week was wet and dreary, but this soup seemed to perk us right up. It's a satisfying blend of veggies, beans and pasta in a flavorful tomato-based broth. It's so easy, too. I had this simmering away in less than 10 minutes, and in just 20 minutes more, it was on the table.

This is excellent the next day, too, but the pasta will absorb a great deal of liquid. You will need to add more broth or some water to thin it out. Also, this makes a great freezer meal, but don't add the pasta until the day you serve it. It will get mushy when you reheat it if you freeze it in the soup.

So here's what you need (and you probably already have most of it in your pantry!):

1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced - about 2 teas.
2 carrots, shredded or finely chopped
2 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 can red beans, rinsed and drained
1 can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (29 oz. can) tomato sauce or puree
1 carton (4 cups) beef broth
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
1 TBSP dried parsley
1/2 TBSP dried basil
1/2 TBSP dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups small pasta - I used shells but anything small will work

In a large saucepan, heat a little olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook until slightly soft. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the pasta. Simmer for 10 minutes - or as long as you like to let the flavors blend.

Bring the soup to a boil, then add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is tender. Garnish with some Parmesan cheese if desired.

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