Friday, October 10, 2008

Pasta e Fagioli

Since I've had a request for this recipe, and since I will never have someone actually pay me for this or any other, I decided not to disappoint my fans and post it for you! Let me know how you like it!

Pasta e Fagioli

1 T olive oil
1 lb. italian sausage (doesn't matter what kind--spice it up or tone it down!)
1 sm. onion, chopped
3 med. carrots, grated
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 c chicken stock (bouillon or broth works fine, too)
4 c tomato juice
1 can diced tomatoes (or 2 med. tomatoes chopped)
1 can white beans (canellini, northern, navy--whatever), drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
2 T dried parsley
1 T dried basil
1/4 t ground cayenne (a little goes a LONG way--add according to your tastes!)
2 T white vinegar (apple cider would probably be ok, too)
3 t sugar
salt & pepper to taste (shouldn't need too much, if any)
8 oz. small pasta (small shells, salad macaroni, etc.)

Quick tip: If you have a really big, really good stock pot, you can probably brown everything in it w/o having to transfer from another pan. Since my stockpot is pretty flimsy, I brown my meat & saute my veggies in a separate, heavy pan, then transfer to the stock pot when I add my liquids. The following directions will be according to how I cook it w/my own--less than stellar--cookware! :)

1. In a heavy pan, brown sausage, then transfer to a large stockpot (6-8 qt. capacity)
2. In same heavy pan, heat olive oil on med to med-hi heat and add onion, carrots, celery & garlic. (You can use less oil if there's an abundance of grease in the pan from the sausage.) Saute the veggies until the onions become transparent, then add them to the stock pot w/the sausage.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the stock pot, EXCEPT THE PASTA and bring to a boil. Turn heat down, cover, and simmer for 45 min.
4. Add pasta & return to a boil until pasta is al dente. (About 15 min. or so, depending on your pasta.)

This makes a LOT of soup, but believe me, the leftovers themselves are worth it, and they freeze very well--if it makes it that far! ENJOY!

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