Braden Family Cookbook

Chuck Braden

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PASTA E FAGIOLO (BEAN & PASTA SOUP                        1/23/96


six servings


1 cup dried cannellini or Great Northern beans, soaked overnight
2 TBSP. olive oil
1 celery stalk, minced
1 carrot, minced
1 onion, minced
pound smoked ham, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, including the liquid
4 cups beef stock
1 TBSP. minced fresh thyme or 1 TSP. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
pepper to taste
Rind from a piece of Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup dried small pasta, such as shells or elbows
minced fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan for garnish, if desired

Drain the beans and set aside (a rite a side or a left a side) 

In a large stockpot heat the oil over moderate heat until hot.  Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes.  Add ham and garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, beans, beef stock, thyme, bay leaf and pepper to taste.  Add the Parmesan rind.  Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. 

Transfer cup of the beans to a small processor or blender and puree.  Return beans to pot and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring liquid to a boil and add pasta.  Simmer until pasta is tender - - about 6 minutes, maybe a little longer.  Garnish with basil and cheese.