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Beans Soup (Pasta Fasul)
Pasta e Fagioli
How to Make Traditional Beans Soup (Pasta Fasul) Recipe
Beans Soup or Pasta Fasul?
“Pasta Fasul” is the name many Americans of Italian heritage call "Pasta e Fagioli" or Bean Soup. The dish is very popular in every region of Italy and there are infinite variations of Bean soup (pasta fasul) as almost every area of Italy has a different way of making it.
Common beans were imported in Europe after the discovery by Columbus of the American continent. It was one of the few edible vegetables to have almost immediate diffusion. The reason is probably that beans, (the black-eyed variety originally from North Africa) were already known for centuries, therefore people was looking at a familiar food.
Italian soups are not smooth but chunky and most of the time contain pasta. There are no ingredients that could tone down the flavor, on the contrary everything in them tend to enhance the taste of the main ingredient that is predominant. Bean Soup (pasta fasul) is no exception. Bean soup (pasta fasul) is traditionally slowly cooked in terracotta pots, often with the addition of prosciutto or Italian bacon (pancetta) to enhance its flavor.
1 quart (approximately 1 liter) water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 oz (60 gr) pancetta (substitute with un-smoked bacon), finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ripe tomato, finely diced
2 cups (460 cc) broth
salt and pepper
5 oz (140 gr) short "ditali" pasta, or spaghetti broken in ½ inch (1–2 cm) pieces
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for topping
Clean and wash the beans the night before. Place them in a container, and cover with fresh water. Let the beans soak in the water overnight.
The next day, when ready to cook, drain the beans.
In a stockpot, pour 1 quart (1 liter) water and add the beans. Boil for about 20 minutes or until the beans are tender.
Place the soup in a large bowl or single serving dishes. Drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil and serve warm.
In a stockpot, pour the extra-virgin olive oil, and turn the heat to medium. Add the bacon, onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté for 2 - 3 minutes, or until the onion becomes soft. Stir in the tomato.
Transfer about one third of the beans to a plate. Using a potato masher, reduce the beans to a paste.
Add to the stockpot the beans . . .
. . . the puréed beans . . .
. . . and the beans cooking water. Bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the ingredients are well blended.
Add the pasta and cook for the time indicated by the manufacturer, checking for readiness from time to time. Pasta is ready when al dente (firm but not too soft or overcooked). Adjust the salt if necessary.