Tonight's Dinner: Pasta fagioli recipe
Chili is the perfect treat on those cold, blustery days, but adding some macaroni to it makes it an even better choice when the temperature drops below 50.
Chili is always a favorite in my house during the winter months, especially when it's raining. So this week when it poured for hours and the wind made the temperature drop even further, I decided to make a thick hearty soup that would coat our stomachs and keep us cozy for hours. What is this awesome blanket of goodness, you ask? It's a pasta fagioli. It's like a soupy chili but with the added heartiness of a nice elbow macaroni. It's an awesome combination that's like a blanket on those chilly nights. What makes this an even better choice for the family is that the pasta and white beans make it a guaranteed hit with the little stomachs at the table. Combine that with the fact that you could take or leave the meat, and you've made an instant winner any night of the week.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 ounces pancetta (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup dry red wine (like a cabernet)
- 2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 (15 ounce) cans chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Shaved Parmesan (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, pancetta and garlic and cook until tender, about four minutes. Add the wine and stir, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the beans, broth, tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes.
- While the soup simmers, cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and set aside.
- Once the pasta's done, add the pasta, basil and parsley to the soup. Spoon into bowls, top with grated Parmesan and serve.