This recipe comes direct from an Italian friend, Giovanna Caprara. Giovanna cooks from scratch for her family all the time. Lucky them. When she makes this recipe, she makes the pasta from scratch and uses dry beans that she’s soaked the night before. I've taken the liberty of making a few shortcuts. This recipe is so delicious even with my little cheats; it must be truly amazing the way she makes it.
You’ll need three pots for this dish. Please don’t let the number of dirty pots deter you from making it; it’s still a simple recipe. Plus, hopefully you have a dishwasher husband like I do. Thank you dear.
Let's get started. Here are the basic ingredients:
broken flat pasta, two handfuls
1 small onion
2 ribs of celery
a can of beans
1 clove of garlic
1 package of cubed pancetta
a lovely tomato or a can of diced tomatoes
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 quart of vegetable broth
Pot #2: This should be a larger pot, as everything will end up in this one. Once again we start with our Holy Trinity of vegetables; chopped onions, carrots and celery. Saute these in some olive oil for a few minutes until wilted, and then add your can of beans. Stir to mix, then take off the heat and set aside. On to the next pot.
Well, by now the kitchen must smell heavenly. You're starving, aren't you? Ladle the pasta e fagioli into pasta bowls, top with grated parmesan or pecorino and serve.
Buon Appetito e grazie a Giovanna!