Mary Anne's Pasta e Fagioli - - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Mary Anne's Pasta e Fagioli

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January is National Soup Month and Pasta e Fagioli (pronounced pasta fa-zool) is the perfect comfort food soup to warm both your spirit and your body during one of the coldest months of the year. This soup freezes easily, too.

1 large sprig fresh rosemary

1 bay leaf

5 sprigs fresh thyme

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon butter

3 teaspoons minced garlic

1 1/2 cups diced onion

6-8 slices bacon, diced

8 cups chicken broth

Parmesan cheese rind, optional

2 (14.5-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (14.5-ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup elbow macaroni

12 ounces baby spinach

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch red pepper flakes, optional

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Extra-virgin olive, for garnishing

  • Wrap the herbs in cheesecloth and tie it securely with kitchen twine, thus making them into an herbal sachet. Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and bacon, and sauté until the onion is tender, about three minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth, the Parmesan cheese rind, if using, beans, and the herbal sachet. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes. Throw away the herbs.
  • Remove one cup of the bean mixture set aside for about five minutes. When cooled, puree bean mixture using a regular blender or hand blender until smooth. Set aside. Add the macaroni and boil with the lid on until it is al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, which is about 8 minutes. Return the puree to the remaining soup in the saucepan or soup pot and stir well. Add spinach and simmer a few more minutes, approximately two or three. Season the soup with ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil just before serving.

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: You can substitute garbanzo or chick peas for the red kidney beans, ditalini, pennette, or conchigli for the elbow macaroni pasta and collard greens or kale for the spinach.

Note: It is very important when blending hot liquids to remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for at least 5 minutes before blending. Transfer the cooled liquid to the blender. If you don't want to wait 5 minutes when using your regular blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

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