Kitchen Wisdom Gluten Free Pasta e Fagioli is a version of a Cannellini Bean and Pasta Soup common in many Italian American households. I love this dish, a simple one pot meal, so good for dinner or lunch! Simple wholesome recipes that originated in rural and farm kitchens of Southern Italy are often referred to as “Peasant Food.” My parents’ generation would cook the foods of our people at home, but often placed greater emphasis and more importance on the predominant “Meat and Potatoes” diet of American Baby Boomer culture of the “Melting Pot” years (post-World War II through the 1970s). Ironically, what was touted with condemnation as “Peasant Food” for years has now proven to be a healthier approach to cooking and choosing ingredients.
Kitchen Wisdom Gluten Free Pasta e Fagioli is a simple, satisfying and hearty country soup of tomatoes, vegetables, broth and pasta. I often dry herbs from summer’s harvest and this soup lends itself well to just about any herb combination. I chose to use lemon thyme, rosemary and hot crushed red pepper. Also popular is the use of Pancetta, or any country bacon, chopped fine and sautéed with the onion and vegetables. Made in this manner it is quite yummy. I also prefer chicken broth (made from organic free range or humanely harvested chicken) particularly tasty and comforting in the winter, but vegetable broth can easily be substituted. The dry pasta is added directly to the pot, and its cooking imparts a starch which thickens the soup. I save the rinds of hard Italian cheeses and freeze them and then use one in soup during cooking and discard it at time of serving. This old school technique adds a burst of bottom flavor which is wonderful on the palate. Buon Appetito!
Yields approximately 6 large soup bowls
1 quart (4 cups) Chicken Broth
2 cups cooked or 2 (14 ounce) cans Cannellini Beans, rinsed
2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
2/3 cup chopped Onion
2 Celery Ribs, chopped
2 Carrots, chopped
2 cups (16 ounces) Crushed Tomatoes
1 ¼ cup short GF Pasta
1 dried sprig Thyme
1 dried sprig Rosemary
½ teaspoon dried Parsley
(optional) 2” Rind of Hard Italian Cheese
(optional) Hot Crushed Red Pepper, to taste
(optional) Fresh Milled Black Pepper
(optional) Hard Italian Grating Cheese, to taste
Prep the vegetables: Open the cans, rinse the beans, wash and chop the veggies, get out the spices; set all aside.
Cook the Soup Base: Sauté the vegetables in olive oil over medium high heat. Begin with the onions, when they begin to wilt, add the garlic and combine.
Add the carrots and celery and spices and a pinch of salt. Continue to Sauté for about 15 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, stir and simmer with lid slightly ajar for another 10 minutes.
Add the rinsed Cannellini beans, stir to fully combine and then add the chicken broth.
Bring the soup up to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to a rolling simmer, with lid slightly ajar, for 25-30 minutes.
Add the pasta and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Let sit a few minutes before serving. Top with optional fresh milled black pepper, crushed red pepper and grated cheese.
“Cannellini Bean & Pasta Soup” by Liz Conforti, Forget What You Know About Wheat (c) 2016
Serve with these delicious Kitchen Wisdom Gluten Free Recipes:
Polenta Battered “Fried” Zucchini
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