Five carnivores were scheduled to eat a hearty, warm dinner at my place on Sunday evening. I thought a classic fagioli (a fancy name to mean soup with pasta and beans) would keep the meat eaters full and happy. It did. Several people told me if they had to eat a meal without meat, this is the one. It’s easy, fun, and looks beautiful served with bread & olive oil and topped with Parmesan cheese (optional). Definitely will be making again.
INGREDIENTS: 2 onions 2 carrots 2 celery sticks 1 tsp. oregano (dried) 6 fresh thyme sprigs 2 bag leaves 4 cans of kidney beans 7 1/2 cups of vegetable stock 3 (14.4 oz) cans of tomatoes 1 cup of water 1 Parmesan rind 1 1/2 cup elbow macaroni Red pepper flakes Salt & Pepper
METHOD: Dice celery, onions, and carrots. Saute in a pot with olive oil or butter until softened. Add all spices and chopped herbs. Add beans, vegetable stock, tomatoes, water, Parmesan rind and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for an hour. 10 minutes or less before serving bring head back up to medium/high and add elbow macaroni.
Notes I learned making my first fagioli:
1. It’s important you and your dinner guests are immediately ready to eat once the pasta is al dente. If you wait too long, it’ll expand, absorb all the stock, and be awful. Good luck!
2. I used canned 'whole' tomatoes — they come really large and I sliced them with a knife once they were in my cooking pot. I love how hearty it made the soup feel and would highly recommend these vs. a can of 'diced' tomatoes.