When pasta and soup come together, I’m really very much in heaven. And Ohio, I know I say a lot of stuff about your winters, but you know I’m just messing with you, right? I didn’t mean it. Without Ohio winters, I wouldn’t get so many chances to eat soup, and I really stinking love soup. Now that we’re in the thick of fall with winter fast-approaching, I think it’s time to start using this opportunity to make the best of our miserably cold existences and eat some damn soup. With the return of Netflix’s Stranger Things tonight, I’m gearing up for a cozy night in, and a few consecutive nights on the couch!
With that goal in mind, I tried a new recipe for a classic, pasta e fagioli. I love this soup when I get it in restaurants and when other people make it, but I realized I didn’t have my own recipe on hand for it. Obviously, I need to figure out what “my” recipe for pasta e fagioli is going to be, so I turned to the chef I trust implicitly with most things, Ina Garten.
In her most recent book, Cooking For Jeffrey, she busted out a bunch more good stuff, and this soup was no exception. Fortunately, by now you can easily find her recipe online!
Her secret weapons appear to be Goya’s signature 16 bean soup mix, a little pancetta, and as usual some freshly grated Parmesan. (I’m aware of zero foods that aren’t improved with freshly grated Parm.) Of course, as usual, her other secret ingredient, her always-at-the-ready homemade chicken stock, was something I didn’t happen to have on hand. Someday, Ina. Someday, I’ll take your advice on this, but today I’m an adult with a full-time job trying to find time to make soup. And store-bought chicken stock is just still one of those corners I cut.
Honest to goodness, nothing is as cozy as a giant bowl of piping hot pasta e fagioli covered in a generous heap of Parmesan and accompanied by a rich deep red glass of Chianti and maybe a side of some garlic toast? It all feels very Italian and very “fall” to me. This is the kind of meal that I plan to enjoy while huddled into a ball on the sofa, wrapped in a giant over-sized blanket, and watching new episodes of my favorite shows on Netflix…
Stranger Things, anyone? Who’s coming with me?
Oh! That’s right! You’ll need the soup. Here is Ina’s recipe for pasta e fagioli. Enjoy!!