Pasta E Fagioli (pasta and beans)


adapted from The Providence Journal, January 31 2007
Food section Chef’s Secret
“Comfort Food in Johnston”
By Gail Ciampa
Journal Food Editor
From Chef Ralph Battista
Executive Chef Luigi’s



Ingredients: (some of the ingredients are substituted from the original recipe)
1 lb white dry navy beans
olive oil
2 medium onions
about 4 celery ribs with leaves
1/4 lb salt pork
crushed red pepper to taste
1 can 14 oz diced tomatoes with juice
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
cloves of garlic to taste
celery seed to taste
stock, recommended , (or bullion and water)
tubettini or other available cut of pasta 

Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover, drain


Score the salt pork down to the rind with a sharp knife to achive about a 1/4 inch dice.

In a heavy bottom pan heat with just enough olive oil to start, saute the salt pork about 5 minutes or more each side to render flavor. Take your time with this process remember fat is flavor, and as they say, used responsibly it won’t harm you.

Meanwhile, dice the celery and onions, smash and diced enough garlic to taste. You can fine diced or go courser and call it a rustic soup.

After the salt pork has rendered fat, add the diced vegetable and garlic with the salt pork as you know, gentle carmalize them, again, no hurry here for the flavors to develop.


Add the rest of the ingredients except the pasta I use about 2 cups of stock and 2 cups of water to start since the stock is usually on the strong side.

Gently bring the soup up to a boil to avoid splitting the beans and cut back to a simmer, cover, and keep a jar of water available to add from time to time if necessary.
At least an hour of simmering is necessary and this could be accomplished in an electric crock pot or if the day is cold simmer in a slow oven.

Cook the tubettini to al dente when ready to serve. Add the pasta to each serving separately or better yet, let the soup age a day in the fridge. Adjust the seasoning to taste, salt pepper and Romano cheese, usually you can let each person season to taste in the bowl as served, and have available olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese for toppings. the Chef suggests crusty italian bread and Chianti Classico or Barolo. Can be served as a main or smaller first course.

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January 2011
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