Pasta and Bean Soup: Pasta e Fagioli

Total Time:
3 hr 15 min
2 hr 30 min
45 min

6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons pork fatback, slightly softened and mashed into a paste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup to drizzle
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 quarts chicken stock, recipe follows
  • 3 cups cooked borlotti beans, may substitute kidney beans
  • 2 cups pieces of raw pasta left over from making tortellini or pappardelle
  • Salt and pepper
  • Brown Chicken Stock:
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 pounds chicken wings, backs, and bones
  • 6 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 8 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 bunches parsley stems
  • In a Dutch oven, heat the pork fat and olive oil over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the parsley and the onions and cook over high heat, until they are browned and soft, about 8 to10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook over medium heat 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the cooked beans and bring to a boil. Add the pasta pieces and cook 5 or 6 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest 10 minutes. Divide among 6 serving bowls, drizzle with remaining oil and serve.

Brown Chicken Stock:
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until smoking. Add all the chicken parts and brown all over, stirring to avoid burning. Remove the chicken and reserve. Add the carrots, onions, and celery to the pot and cook until soft and browned. Return the chicken to the pot and add 6 quarts of water, the tomato paste, peppercorns, and parsley. Stir with a wooden spoon to dislodge the browned chicken and vegetables bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a low simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours, occasionally skimming excess fat. Remove from heat, strain, and press on the solids with the bottom of a ladle to extract out all liquids. Stir the stock to facilitate cooling and set aside. Refrigerate stock in small containers for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.

  • Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

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