Pasta and Bean Soup (Pasta E Fagioli)

“Venetians prize a soup made thick by using mashed beans. This recipe is based on the preparations at Venice's Fiaschetteria Toscana and Osteria alla Bomba. A tablespoon of salt may sound like a lot, but it is needed to bring out the beans' flavor. From Gourmet Magazine, 2000.”
READY IN:
16hrs
SERVES:
10
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Combine beans and water in an 8-quart heavy pot and soak, covered, 12 hours.
  2. Add vegetables and 1 tablespoon rosemary to pot and simmer, covered, until beans are tender, about 2 hours.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, set aside 1 heaping cup bean mixture, then reserve 2 cups cooking liquid separately.
  4. Force remaining soup through a food mill into a very large bowl.
  5. Cook pancetta in cleaned pot over moderate heat, stirring, until it begins to render its fat.
  6. Add remaining rosemary and cook, stirring, 15 seconds.
  7. Stir in puréed soup, reserved whole beans, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently and scraping bottom with a wooden spatula to keep soup from sticking to pot (thin with some of reserved bean liquid if necessary).
  8. Add pasta and simmer, stirring frequently, until pasta is cooked, about 12 minutes.
  9. Serve soup drizzled with olive oil.
  10. -This soup is best the day after it's made.
  11. Cool it uncovered, before chilling, covered, up to 4 days.
  12. -You can use a blender or food processor instead of a food mill to purée the soup, but pulse briefly.
  13. This soup should be textured and thick.
  14. Makes 4 quarts, serving 8 to 10.

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