Friday, January 28, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli.... sort of!


Perusing the fridge for last minute dinner ideas I stumbled across a package of pancetta with the "use by" date fast approaching.  Out of my memory popped a Pasta e Fagioli recipe that had recently caught my eye calling for bacon.  Hmmm... I could sub the pancetta for the bacon!  Pulling out the rest of the ingredients had me nearly ready to begin chopping when I realized that this heart-warming soup didn't really have a protein other than the garbanzo beans and I knew immediately that my "I must have meat for dinner" husband would probably turn his nose up at this soup for a meal.  Not really wanting to search for a main meat I turned to my friendly freezer and found the perfect ingredient in a package of Chicken Tortellini!

Within minutes the pancetta was on the stove sauteing, closely followed by fragrant onions, garlic and Herbs de Provence.  The addition of carrots, mushrooms and a can of garbanzo beans beefed up the nutrient content and my chicken tortellini provided our "main dish meat" making this soup an easy and healthy weeknight meal.

With the combo of the fragrant soup and fresh Cheddar Scallion Biscuits in the oven my husband wandered into the kitchen with a grumbling stomach asking what smelled so good.  I ladled the soup into a bowl and tossed a fresh biscuit on the side slathered with a bit of butter.  Placing the steaming bowl in front of him I waited, and he didn't disappoint!  His spoon poked the soup and he said, "Well... it smells good, but where's the meat?"  Smiling I pointed the the tortellini and poured a glass of wine.  Life is good!


Pasta e Fagioli... sort of

1/4 cup diced pancetta
1 1/2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried Herbs de Provence
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup tortellini (more if desired!)
1 Tsp red-wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmigiano Cheese

Heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat and saute the diced pancetta, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes.  Add the onions and continue sauteing for another few minutes.  Add the garlic and rosemary, cooking about a minute longer.

Add the chicken broth, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, Herbs de Provence and enough water to cover by about 1/2 of an inch.  Simmer over medium heat for about 1/2 of an hour, stirring occasionally.  Add tortellini about 6 minutes (or according to package directions) before serving soup.  Add more water if the soup is too thick.

Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.  Add the red wine vinegar and stir to combine.  Taste and adjust salt, pepper and vinegar if desired.

Ladle into bowls and top with grated Parmigiano Cheese.  Enjoy!

31 comments:

  1. This is great. I love when I come up with something great going through the fridge. This looks wonderful!

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  2. Can I come for dinner??? :) My husband is definitely a meat dude, but sometimes I can top whatever I'm making meatless with cheese and he never misses it:)

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  3. Sounds like a great meal. I must remember to try making those biscuits this weekend. Maybe a little Pasta e Fagioli too!

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  4. Men and meat. What's with that? I think the meal looks fantastic, with or without. Wow, it's gorgeous. The biscuits too. Mmmmmmm

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  5. This soup sounds like me visiting my granny long long time ago! Thank you for sharing and reviving childhood memories :)

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  6. this soup would go well with the biscuits

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  7. Looks tempting and the biscuits remind me of our Scottish scones. Lovely photo. Where's the meat? I hope your husband realises how lucky he is ;-)

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  8. What a perfect combination! I bet it went perfect with those biscuits. I do love a good soup!!

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  9. We are not big meat eaters, so this is perfect for us. I love the addition of the tortellini, and of course the biscuits:)

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  10. Oh wow...the smell of the pancetta...I can smell it/taste it all the way here! This is a wonderful bowl of soup ... I'd love to just sip it up!

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  11. Soup, pork, tortellini--some of my favorite things!

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  12. Oh, Kim, I'd have this soup any night of the week! The ingredients all sound fabulous together. Pancetta's definitely the way to go ;-) I'm glad it turned out well! I've really got to make me some of those biscuits, too. The weather is FINALLY cooling off!!!! I'm so excited... and I just can't hide it!

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  13. Pasta e fagioli is one of my favorite soups! I love when Im digging through the fridge and suddenly I have to cook not to waste something. The best meals seem to come of it. :D

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  14. One of our all-time favorites! Reminds me of home and winter and family suppers ...

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  15. Sounds so hearty n comfy..perfect dinner for these winter nights :)

    US Masala

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  16. I've never made this dish, but your photos have nudged me into trying it soon. Perfect winter comfort food...and anything with pancetta has got to be fabulous!

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  17. This looks so good and the cheddar scallion biscuits just put it over the top! That's so funny that he asked where the meat was - lol!

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  18. I have a "must have meat" husband, too. I love how you combined what you had to make such a delicious soup.

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  19. This soup looks fantastic!!! I love when you just decide to make a recipe on a whim and tweak the ingredients to make it work for you; well done and beautiful photos. :)

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  20. What a satisfying soup! Looks amazing!You are so creative to make this combination!

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  21. I love this soup at the Olive Garden. I'll have to make this recipe.

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  22. This sounds delicious! Do you know if Herbs de Provence is easy to find in every grocery store?

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  23. Where's the meat? - Something my husband would also ask. He's getting better about it though. This soup looks amazing! I'd love a bowl of it today - it's raining.

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  24. Pasta e fagioli is just a mish-mosh though - ins't it. Of all good things you can derive. When I grew up it was tomato, macaroni and beans. Now, I add tons of vegetables. Never meat - although Olive Garden has done well with theirs!

    I particularly love your using the tortellini - a favorite of mine and I just think tortellini makes any meal!

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  25. This looks fantastic! I think the best recipes are those that are altered to fit what is in the fridge :) I always feel super resourceful when I make delicious changes like yours!

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  26. I have to stop reading this at work before lunch!! I love your blogging style; sharing commentary on how your life produces the amazing looking dishes you're spooning up. Thanks!

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  27. I think you have been reading my mind! I've been craving Fagioli for weeks, and have yet to find that "just right" recipe to make it! Thanks!

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  28. That looks great! I have been on such a soup kick lately, this just fits right in! It looks so tasty and hearty, yum! I love your little changes to the traditional soup too. Just in case you didn't see my other comment, I hope Liv feels better soon!

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  29. One of my all time favorite soups, this recipe looks, and sounds beautiful!!!
    Take care,
    Terra
    www.cafeterrablog.com

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  30. That reminds me of that old commercial..."Where's da beef??"

    Sounds good to me! I'm a fan of biscuits (they are a distant cousin of bread) these would be gone in short order.

    Beautifully done!

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