Pasta e fagioli (Pasta and Dried Bean Soup) Recipe

  Italian Soup

1-1/2 cups dried borlotti or cannellini beans
14 oz. can plum tomatoes, chopped, w/their juice
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
pinch of coarsely ground black pepper
6 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve (optional)
3-1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
2-1/4 cups ditalini or other small pasta
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

1 Soak the beans in water overnight. Rinse and drain well.
2 Place the beans in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes. Rinse and drain again.
3 Return the beans to the pan. Add enough water to cover them by 1-inch. Stir in the coarsely chopped tomatoes with their juice, the garlic, bay leaves, black pepper and the oil. Simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until the beans are tender. If necessary, add more water.
4 Remove the bay leaves. Pass about half of the bean mixture through a food mill, or puree in a food processor. Stir into the pan with the remaining bean mixture. Add the water, and bring the soup to the boil.
5 Add the salt and the pasta. Stir, and cook until the pasta is just done. Stir in the parsley. Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve with grated Parmesan passed separately. In Italy a little olive oil is poured into each serving.
Serves 4-6

Pasta e fagioli (Pasta and Dried Bean Soup)

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