Monday, February 23, 2015

Culinary Adventures: Pasta e Fagioli

Little Miss Chief is officially A Toddler now, which means that she's officially A Picky Eater.  Foods that she would eagerly devour just 6 months ago receive a violent head shake when they are offered to her now.

One food she doesn't reject?  "BEE!"   (Beans.)

She really, really enjoyed the black bean soup I made last month so I hoped she'd like this white bean soup recipe.  Thankfully, she loved it!

*personal photo*
Pasta e Fagioli
adapted from Jeff Mauro

-5 slices thick-cut bacon, sliced into lardons
-1 yellow onion, diced
-1/4 tsp dried oregano
-1/4 tsp dried basil
-1/2 tsp dried parsley
-1/2 tsp dried minced garlic
-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
-1/4 C white wine
-1 1/2 C chicken stock
-1 1/2 C water
-2 15oz cans cannellini beans
-1 15oz can tomato puree
-1 C ditalini pasta
-1 C grated parmesan cheese

-Cook the bacon in a dutch oven until it's crisp and your kitchen smells divine.  You'll know it's ready when your husband and daughter start wandering towards the stove and wondering when dinner will be ready.  Remove the crisp bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

-Add the onion, herbs, spices, and some salt to the bacon fat and stir until the onion is translucent but before it starts to brown (8-10 minutes).  Deglaze the pot with some wine and scrape up all the brown bits off the bottom; bring to a simmer.

-Pour in the chicken stock, water, beans, and tomato puree.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Let it bubble and thicken for about 30 minutes.

-For a thicker stew-like consistency, buzz the pot with an immersion blender for 30 seconds or so.  Or you could skip that step for a more liquid, soupy consistency.

-Add the pasta and cook until it's done, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the bacon and the cheese.

-Serve with another sprinkle of cheese on top and enjoy!

What kind of soups and stews are you making to keep warm in this endless winter?

Much love,
The Geeks

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