This version of Pasta y Fagioli is simple and hearty. My secret weapon was my cousin’s Italian herb mix (she grows her own herbs and dries them for Christmas presents). Instead of using spicy Italian sausage, you can opt for pancetta (if you want to live it up), mild italian sausage, or even chicken sausage. I like it best with pancetta or a little spice. I served it warm Italian bread for dipping in the soup.
Verdict: Delicious and easy to make.
You will need:
- 1 cup ditalini pasta ( or small elbows)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed (pancetta or mild sausage is fine, as well.)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 cups chicken broth (I used reduced sodium. If you use regular, adjust your salt
- 1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 tsp Kosher salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
- cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add Italian sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Stir in garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Whisk in chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, Italian sausage and 1 cup water; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Of course, if you allow the soup to simmer for longer, the flavor will deepen and improve.
- Stir in the beans until heated through. If you want to eat it immediately, add the pasta, as well.
- Of course, if you allow the soup to simmer for longer, the flavor will deepen and improve. If you choose to do this add in the pasta before eating.