extra virgin olive oil
2 sticks of celery
1 small potato
2 small romaneschi courgettes
5 small pachino tomatoes
a handful of French beans
a handful of corallo beans
200g of cooked borlotti beans
160g orecchiette pasta
Pasta e Fagioli II
This is the healthy version. Extra virgin olive oil. No lard or pig skin.
Chopping and cooking included you can make this in forty minutes. If you want to make the orecchiette as well that’s another good hour.
I like more vegetables than pasta, so I use less than fifty grams of pasta per person. I use a water based pasta made of semolina as it has more texture and doesn’t overcook as easily as dry or fresh egg pasta. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for about five minutes then drain and add to the soup. Allow the pasta to absorb the flavours for at least ten minutes.
Chop the onion, carrot and celery into small dice. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a heavy casserole and sauté on a medium heat for five to ten minutes.
Whilst these are cooking prepare the rest of the vegetables. Peel and dice the potato, finely chop the two courgettes, quarter the pachino tomatoes, peel the stringy sides of the corallo beans and slice slightly on the angle, top the french beans and the blanch both the french beans and the corallo beans one after the other in lightly salted boiling water.
Add the potatoes to the pan and stir in, season with a little salt and cook for a couple more minutes.
Add the courgettes and the tomatoes and continue to cook on a gentle heat.
Add the borlotti beans and mix them in.
Pour half a litre of water into the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for fifteen minutes.
Cook the pasta in slightly salted boiling water for five minutes then drain and add to the minestra along with the corallo and french beans.
Stir the soup gently so that some of the starch from the pasta slightly thickens it.
Cook on a gentle heat so that the minestra is barely simmering for about fifteen minutes. Taste and season if necessary, then turn off the heat to allow the flavours to develop for five minutes before serving.