Here is a classic of Italian cuisine that I have enjoyed making many times. I have now settled for this version which is simply the one that has evolved through the years and that I love eating the most :-))! I can't help thinking about my mother whenever I cook “pasta e fagioli”, as 1) she is also from Veneto, 2) her version has inspired me and 3) it is one of our family dishes.
Ingredients (serves 4)
200 g of pasta corta (you should use "ditalini" ideally, but if you have small amount of various pasta shapes you can break them in smallish bits, mix them together and set them aside to use whenever you fancy cooking “pasta e fagioli”)
2 tablespoons of cooking olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2 rashes of bacon, snipped as lardons
1 medium size potato, chopped in cubes
1 tin of borlotti beans
4/5 tablespoons of tomato passata
Salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil
Grated parmesan cheese
Warm the cooking olive oil in a medium size cooking pot, add chopped onion and fry until golden and soft. Add bacon a fry for an extra couple of minutes on a medium heat. Add passata and borlotti beans, stir for a couple of minutes. Make sure the mixture does not burn! Turn the heat down if need be. Add potato and stir briefly before adding enough vegetable stock to get enough quantity to serve four bowls of soup. Add rosemary. Cover and allow to cook on a medium heat for 45/60 minutes.
You can then take most the vegetables out with a ladle and liquidize them before you put them back in the pot, but you must leave a few handful of beans intact. Bring back to boil and stir in the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir every couple of minutes until the pasta is al dente. Remove from heat and allow to sit for a few minutes so that pasta shapes can swell and absorb liquid. Dish out in individual bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.