I absolutely love the fall season and all of the great things that come with it. When the weather starts changing and it’s getting a bit cold out, one of my favorite things to do is make this dish! It’s a recipe from Anne Burell, one of my all-time favorite celebrity chefs. Pasta Fagioli is an Italian dish most commonly made with cannellini beans and a small type of pasta like elbows or ditalini. Herbs, tomatoes, garlic, and a sort of broth are added and then it’s all topped off with a drizzle of olive oil, some fresh basil, and grated Parmigiano cheese.
It’s like autumn in a bowl.
Yield 4-6 servings
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 1 onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- kosher salt
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, passed through a food mill or processed in a food processor
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 pound ditalini pasta
- freshly grated Parmigiano
- chopped chives for garnish
- Coat a large wide pot with olive oil and add the pancetta. Bring to medium heat and cook the pancetta until it starts to crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Toss in the onion and season with salt and red pepper; cook until the onion is soft and aromatic, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup water, season with salt, and bring to a boil; then reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the cannellini beans and chickpeas to the pot and cook for 20 minutes more.
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta two-thirds of the way – it should still be fairly hard in the middle. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and the reserved cooking water to the pot with the tomatoes and beans. Continue cooking until the pasta is done, another 3-4 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Serve sprinkled with Parmesan and chives and drizzled with finishing oil.