Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Pasta e fagioli – pasta and beans – is a staple of Italian cuisine My initial encounter with it was when I tried a recipe in a cookbook by Dom DeLuise. It was love at first taste.

Recipes for pasta e fagioli can vary greatly from region to region in the Mediterranean country, depending on available ingredients. The consistency of the dish also can vary, with some being soupy and the others much thicker, like the DeLuise recipe.

Over the years, I looked at a number of other pasta e fagioli recipes but never have tried any of them. That’s until today, when I decided to make a soupier version of the dish. I added a couple of my own twists to the recipe: tortellini instead of elbow macaroni or ditalini and some diced or julienned carrots.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 carrots, chopped or julienned
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
3 cups chicken broth
1 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
10 ounces tortellini
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook celery, onion, garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and salt in the hot oil until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes and tomato sauce and simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add pasta and cook 10 minutes, until pasta is tender.
Add beans and mix well. Heat through. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

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