Cranberry Bean Pasta Fagioli

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 55 min
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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Ingredients

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

5 cloves garlic, smashed

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 2-ounce piece pancetta (optional)

5 canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand

Kosher salt

3 pounds fresh cranberry beans in pods, shelled (or 1 cup dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight)

2 bay leaves

1 piece parmesan cheese rind, plus 1/2 cup grated parmesan, and more for topping

2 cups small pasta, such as shells or ditalini

1 bunch kale, stems and ribs discarded, leaves chopped

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

Freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, rosemary and pancetta, if using, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes; season with salt. Add the beans, 3 quarts water, the bay leaves and parmesan rind. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  2. Uncover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 more minutes. (The soup should be thick and creamy; thin with water, if necessary.)
  3. Remove the bay leaves, parmesan rind and pancetta, if used. Add the grated parmesan, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with more olive oil and parmesan.

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