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Looking for a delicious and comforting dish to warm your soul? Look no further than the Barefoot Contessa Pasta Fagioli recipe! This hearty Italian soup is packed with flavor and loaded with beans, pasta, and vegetables. It’s the perfect dish for a cozy night in or a filling lunch. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Barefoot Contessa Pasta Fagioli recipe and guide you through the process step by step.
The Barefoot Contessa Pasta Fagioli recipe is a popular and beloved dish that originated in Italy. It is a classic pasta and bean soup that is traditionally made with cannellini beans, pasta, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes, and various herbs and spices. Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa, is a renowned American chef and author who has perfected her own version of this classic recipe.
Before we delve into the recipe, let’s take a look at the list of ingredients you’ll need to make the Barefoot Contessa Pasta Fagioli:
1. Cannellini beans: The star of the show, these creamy white beans provide a rich and hearty base for the soup.
2. Pasta: Choose a small pasta shape like ditalini or small shells to add texture to the soup.
3. Onions, carrots, and celery: These aromatic vegetables form the base of the soup and provide a depth of flavor.
4. Garlic: A few cloves of garlic will add a subtle yet aromatic taste to the soup.
5. Tomatoes: Canned crushed tomatoes add a burst of acidity and tanginess to balance out the flavors.
6. Chicken stock: This adds a savory and rich flavor to the soup.
7. Fresh herbs: A combination of fresh thyme, rosemary, basil, and parsley add a burst of freshness.
8. Parmesan rind: This optional ingredient infuses the soup with a deep umami flavor.
Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s dive into the step-by-step instructions for making the Barefoot Contessa Pasta Fagioli:
1. Begin by heating olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook until they become tender and fragrant.
2. Stir in the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and cook for another minute until the aromas are released.
3. Add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, and cannellini beans to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
4. Stir in the Parmesan rind, salt, and pepper. Cover the pot and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
5. Cook the pasta separately according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
6. Before serving, remove the Parmesan rind from the soup and discard it. Stir in the cooked pasta and fresh parsley.
7. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with additional fresh herbs and grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
8. Serve the Barefoot Contessa Pasta Fagioli piping hot with crusty bread on the side for a complete and satisfying meal.
Tips and Variations:
– If you prefer a vegetarian version of this soup, you can replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
– To bulk up the soup and make it even heartier, you can add cooked ground sausage or pancetta.
– Feel free to customize the recipe by adding your favorite vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, or kale.
– Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I use a different type of bean?
A: While the traditional Pasta Fagioli is made with cannellini beans, you can experiment with other types of beans such as kidney beans or navy beans. Just keep in mind that the texture and flavor may vary slightly.
Q: Can I make this soup ahead of time?
A: Absolutely! This soup actually tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld together. Simply store it in the refrigerator and reheat it before serving.
Q: Can I freeze the leftovers?
A: Yes, you can freeze the Barefoot Contessa Pasta Fagioli for up to 3 months. Just make sure to let it cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers.
Q: Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?
A: Yes, you can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. Simply sauté the onions, carrots, and celery on the stovetop, then transfer everything to a slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.
The Barefoot Contessa Pasta Fagioli recipe is a true comfort food that will warm your heart and belly. With its rich flavors and hearty ingredients, it’s no wonder why this dish has become a favorite among both home cooks and Italian cuisine enthusiasts. So grab your apron, gather the ingredients, and get ready to enjoy a bowl of deliciousness that will transport you straight to Italy. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or simply craving a cozy meal for yourself, this recipe is sure to satisfy.