Friday, January 28, 2011

Hey Mambo!

Hey everybody! This week for Juliana’s Butcher Block, I made Pasta Fagioli. It was excellent, and extra meaty. Enjoy!

Pasta Fagioli
Serves 6
*adapted from Epicurious

extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small onion, roughly chopped
½ fennel bulb, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
4 oz. prosciutto
1 lb spicy Italian sausage
5 canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
Kosher salt
2 cans cannelloni beans
8 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 piece parmesan cheese rind, plus 1/2 cup grated parmesan, and more for topping
2 cups whole wheat small pasta, such as shells or ditalini
1 bunch kale, stems and ribs discarded, leaves chopped
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper

In a large pot brown Italian sausage. Remove the sausage, but leave the drippings. Cook the prosciutto for about 3 minutes. Add olive oil if needed. Add the garlic, onion, fennel, red pepper flakes, and rosemary, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes; season with salt. Add broth, the bay leaves and parmesan rind. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a different pot cook pasta to al dente. I like to keep the pasta separate, otherwise the noodles absorb too much of the broth. Also drain and rinse the beans. Bring the soup to a boil, by increasing the heat. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 more minutes. Add the beans and sausage.

Remove the bay leaves and parmesan rind. Add the grated parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. When serving divide the noodles among the bowls, and ladle the soup onto it. Top with parmesan.
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