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A Cooking Adventure with Thom

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Pasta E Faggioli Soup

Serves: 4

Recipe Notes:  This recipe, as written, serves 4.  I always double it so I can have leftovers.  Frankly, I really love this soup even more the day after I make it.  I know, the pasta is a little mushy and you have to thin it out with a little water, but I think itís even more delicious and thatís saying a lot.



Dried Cannellini Beans - 1 Cup
Olive Oil - 2 Tablespoons
Garlic Cloves, Thinly Sliced - 4
Pancetta or Thick Sliced Bacon - 2 Ounces
Small Yellow Onion, Diced - 1
Medium Carrot, Peeled and Diced - 1
Celery Rib, Diced - 1
Dried Bay Leaves - 2
Dried Oregano - 1 Tablespoons
Fresh Rosemary, Finely Chopped - 1 Teaspoon
Low Sodium Chicken Broth - 8 Cups
Small Ham Hocks - 1
Black Pepper - 1/2 Teaspoon
Canned Plum Tomatoes, Drained - 4-5
Dried Elbow or Ditalini Pasta - 2 Ounces
Parmesan Cheese, Grated - 1 Cup

Cooking Method

1. Pour beans out on a cookie sheet and check for rocks. Rinse beans. In a large pot add dried beans and cover with 2 inches of water.  Let soak at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse beans.
2. In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook it, stirring, for about 1 minute or until golden. Add the pancetta and cook the mixture slowly so that the garlic and pancetta brown. Be careful to regulate the heat so the garlic only browns and does not burn. Add the onions and cook the mixture for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the carrots and celery and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the bay leaves, oregano, rosemary and sautť the mixture for about 2 minutes or until the flavors meld. Add the stock and ham hock and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
3. Add the drained beans to stock and bring it back to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes. Using your hands crush the tomatoes and add to soup. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup about an hour or more until beans are tender but not mushy.
4. Increase the heat and boil the soup, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes to intensify its flavors and let it reduce and thicken slightly.
5. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add pasta. Cook until the pasta is just al dente about 12 to 14 minutes. Add cheese.  Check seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve!

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