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In The Kitchen: The Traveling Epicurean cooks up traditional Italian soup

In the Kitchen

A classic Italian soup packed with lots of flavors and perfect for the fall.

The Traveling Epicurean Michel Vejar cooks up Pasta Fagioli.

Pasta Fagioli Recipe:

INGREDIENTS For Pasta Fagioli:

· 2 cans cannellini beans

· 1/2 -3/4 cup ditalini pasta ( 1/2 if you want it looser soup-like consistency …remember it just keeps getting thicker even after you take it off the stove as the liquid evaporates)

· 1 qt. (4 cups) chicken stock

· 1 cup white wine-pinot grigio or what ever you are drinking -(1/2 to deglaze pancetta and veggies and 1/2 when you add stock

· 1/3 cup each diced carrots, celery and onion

· 3 tbsp finely chopped garlic

· 2 cups whole peeled tomatoes with some juice, broken up with your hands – NOTE: USE 3 cups if you are not using a cup of “leftover pork & sauce”

· 1 cup pork in tomato sauce OR 1 lb. sausage taken out of the casing ready to sauté OR omit all together

· 2 1/4″ sliced of pancetta diced up or bacon

· 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary and 2 of fresh thyme tied in up with string

· Fresh basil -julienne to add at the end

· grated Reggiano Parmigiano and some to shave for decoration

· good olive oil to drizzle at the end

· 1/2 tsp salt -add 1/4 tsp at the addition of sauteing veggies and 1/4 tsp when you add beans and broth

· 1/4 tsp pepper

· 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes if you like a pinch of HEAT

DIRECTIONS:

1. Add diced pancetta to a large pan and begin to sauté for 8 minutes on med heat

2. Add in broken up sausage to brown with the pancetta If you do not have “pork in sauce”

3. On med/low heat add diced carrots, onion, celery and garlic with 1/4 tsp salt (along with 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes if you want a little heat) to the same pot with 1 tbsp olive oil extra – sauté til veggies are tender 10 minutes

4. De-glaze with 1/2 cup white wine and simmer 5 minutes

5. Add in beans, pork-sauce, whole peeled tomatoes, herb bouquet, chicken stock, 1/4 salt, 1/4 pepper and simmer for 30 minutes

6. Remove herb bouquet from soup

7. Take 4-5 ladles of beans out of the soup to puree for a little creamier then adding back in

8. Simmer 5 minutes and add in 1/2 cup ditalini pasta

9. Cook til pasta is cooked – approx 7 minutes

10. Plate up and drizzle olive oil, sprinkle parmigiano cheese and fresh basil and mangia mangia!

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