Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pasta Fagioli

I know you are DYING to have me tell you all about Christmas. How could you not be? Christmas was quite magical. It actually snowed on Christmas, like it should.

Jack got just what he wanted, a remote control monster truck. That is not exactly what I wanted him to get, but whatever. Why can't he want cute little wooden toys and vintage books? No, he wants loud, plastic toys. But he did get a real set of golf clubs from his aunts and uncles. Those will be loads of fun once the snow melts, in May, or something.

Van got what every kid wants, his two front teeth. We woke up on Christmas morning and just like a Christmas miracle, he had his second bottom tooth. He now spends his time sucking on his bottom lip so that he can feel them. To me, they are cat teeth. Those little babies are sharp!

Ethan got what he wanted, a full day in the movie theater. He was actually in Southern California for Christmas, due to some rich people having him cater Christmas Eve dinner. On Christmas Day, he went to the movies in solitude and saw three movies in a row. According to him, "Doubt", "Valkyrie" and "Benjamin Button" are all good movies. Oh yeah, and he said "Gran Turino" is now on his Top Three Favorite Movies list. The other two on the list? "The Patriot" and "Tombstone". What do all those movies have in common? One word: REVENGE. Ethan is all about bad people "getting it".

So there is Christmas. Now you can relax and enjoy yet ANOTHER recipe. Maybe I will run out of them someday. Who knows. For now, enjoy what you are getting:)

This soup is total comfort food. With the pasta and the beans being the same size, they get to be in a bite together. And that is good. The pureed beans might seem like a hassle since the rest of the soup is so easy. But that bean puree thickens up the soup a little and we want that. For sure use fresh sage in this. It is such a fresh flavor. Since you are only going to need 10 sage leaves, mince up the rest and toss them into some scrambled eggs in the morning.

1 1/2 cup small pasta, like small shells or elbow macaroni
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 fresh sage leaves, minced
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
3 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cups water
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a blender, combine 1/2 cup cannellini beans and 3 Tbsp water. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add onions. Cook until softened. Add garlic, sage, Italian seasoning and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tomato paste is slightly caramelized, about 3 minutes.

Turn heat up to high and add 4 cups water and the remaining cannellini beans. Once boiling, add pasta and bean puree. Simmer until warmed through. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Yields 4 servings.

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