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!