When we’re not eating pizza, a warm bowl of soup is a nice treat, especially during the harsh Boston winters. Every now and then we serve a delicious Pasta e Fagioli. It’s hearty, filling, and quite tasty. Today we’re sharing a recipe from one of our favorite chefs, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. It’ll only take you about 30 minutes to make, so consider this one of your go-to weeknight recipes.
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
2 tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 oz. pancetta, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
6 medium cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. Dried oregano
½ tsp. Red pepper flakes
4 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock
Two 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, with their liquid
2 bay leaves
1 cup small pasta, such as shells, ditali, or elbows
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. Chopped fresh parsley
Pour the tomatoes into a medium bowl and squeeze each one through your fingers to break it up into small pieces (be careful–they can squirt). Set aside.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. If using pancetta, add it to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, until the onion is fragrant and softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, with their juice, the chicken stock, kidney beans, and bay leaves, bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to a bare simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, adding the pasta to the soup for the last 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the package instructions).
Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves, stir in the parsley, and serve, drizzling each serving with olive oil.