PASTA E FAGIOLI

Ingredients

1 lb. podded, fresh Borlotti beans
3 tbs. olive oil
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
2 tbs. parsley, chopped
1 ripe tomato, quartered
2 tbs. lard
1/3 lb. mixed dry pasta (maccheroncini rigati, or maltagliati)
5 tbs. grated Parmigiano
salt
white pepper

How to make the Pasta e fazool:

Put 2 qts. of water in a pot; use very little salt since, as the water evaporates, the salt will intensify. Add the beans and simmer with pot covered till ready. Finely chop the lard, onion, garlic, parsley and tomato.

Saute in oil over medium heat until the lard has melted and the vegetables begin to get tender. Set aside. When the beans are done, add the soffritto, bring to a boil and add the pasta, stir and let it cook until the pasta is al dente (about 8 min.). Add more hot water or broth if you feel it is getting too dense. When the soup is ready, add a pinch of freshly ground pepper and 2 tbs. Parmigiano. Serve with the remaining Parmigiano.

Note 1:
Before adding the pasta, yuo may pass about half the beans through a food mill and return resulting puree to the broth.

Note 2:
The soffritto may be eliminated. When cooking the beans, add the crushed clove of garlic, the onion, tomato, parsley and olive oil when the beans are almost done.

Note 3:
You can also use other types of beans such as cannellini, navy beans, etc.

Note 4:
If you use dry beans, you must soak them overnight.

Note 5:
Practically every region of Italy has its own version of Pasta e Fagioli.

Note 6:
Pasta e fagioli is also known as pasta fazool, and many other variations on the spelling, that derive from the various local dialect of the Italian regions.