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Pasta with Bean Soup

Source: The Italian Gourmet
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 20 Minutes
  Serves 6
Of all the many Italian soups, this is certainly the most famous, and it is common to a number of regions. There are paste e fagioli in Fruili, Veneto, Lombardy and Tuscany, almost all made by the same method - the beans are cooked first, some of them pushed through a sieve to increase the density of the broth, and the pasta added at the end.
2 lb fresh borlotti beans or 3/4 cup dried borlotti beans that have been soaked in water overnight
10 cups water
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1 sprig rosemary
1 tablespoon garlic and parsley chopped together
5 oz short pasta such as penne, small rigatoni or tube pasta
salt and freshly ground pepper
Cook the beans in the water, slightly salted, for 1 hour.

Remove a couple of ladlefuls of beans and puree in a blender with the tomatoes. Set the remaining beans aside in their cooking liquid.

Put 1 cup olive oil in a saucepan, add the rosemary and cook gently to flavor the oil; discard the rosemary. Add the garlic and parsley and the tomato and bean puree. Stir to mix.

Add the rest of the beans and their cooking liquid. Stir in the pasta. Check for salt. Cook until the pasta is just slightly al dente and the soup has a creamy consistency.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil in a thin stream over each serving, and add pepper if desired.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 6
Calories: 1087
Sodium: 414mg
Fiber: 25g
Carbohydrates, Total: 113g
Protein: 37g
% Cal. from Fat: 46%
Fat. Total: 56g
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