Fridge, Freezer, Pantry, & Veggie Bin Day

Pasta Fagioli

When the waitress in a New York City restaurant brought him the soup du jour, the Englishman was a bit dismayed. ”Good heavens,” he said, ”what is this?” ”Why, it’s bean soup,” she replied. ”I don’t care what it has been,” he sputtered. ”What is it now?

With a nice pot of soup in mind for the day, some for dinner and some to share, the adventure begins with what’s in the overloaded pantry to start with then on to the freezer and fridge to collect the goods for what I call one of the best bowls of pasta fagioli that I have made in quite a while. I was inspired by many of our guest chefs at the cooking club so naturally I was intending to use what I had and what a grocery cart of goodies beyond all of the expected soup ingredients did I come away with…check out a few links to the chefs versions and take ingredients that suit your tastes, make it your own.

The list is long and I tried to measure to the best of my ability, but you can easily make any adjustments/adaptations that work for you. The recipe is a fantastic one to toss into the Instant Pot and have ready for dinner in about 35 minutes beyond prepping time.

I love to have all of the ingredients prepped then the process goes rather smoothly from one step to another…

  • I soaked 1 pound of Marcella beans the night before ran and rinse them.

Have ready 5-6 cups chicken stock, I had plenty in the freeze
1 15-16 ounce can of whole San Marzano tomatoes or you can used diced
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
3 tablespoons EVOO
4 ounces if diced pancetta
2 inch piece of Parmigiano rind for the pot
1 medium smoked ham hock for the pot of beans

1 leek white part only, halved and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves,, smashed and chopped
1 small shallot, small dice
1/4 medium red onion, small dice
I had about 1/2 cup diced peppers, red, yellow, and orange
8 to 12 aby carrots halved and sliced

3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Salt & pepper, 1 teaspoon each
2 teaspoons homemade sausage spice

Grated parm for your bowl of soup
Optional drizzle of EVOO for finished soup

Today I had ditilini pasta, sometimes I use baby seashells, or use your favorite small pasta shape

Heat the IP on sauté add the EVOO pancetta and cook for about 3 minutes. Toss in all of the vegetables, stir in the tomato paste sauté for about 3 minutes, nestle in the ham hock, add about a cup of stock and stir in all of the herbs & spices. Pour in the soaked beans and add stock…Set IP to manual, seal vent, set pressure cook for 35 minutes, and release after 5 or so minutes after cooking is complete.

Have ready your pasta, serve hot and garnish with grated cheese, a drizzle of EVOO, and maybe a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Serve with a nice Sangiovese wine or my favorite Montepulciano wine. Oh, and yes to hard rolls or garlic bread.