Paste e Fagioli (Pasta and Bean Soup)
- 1 tablespoon, il Fustino extra virgin olive oil
- 3 ounces, pancetta or bacon (3 slices) – chopped fine
- 1 medium, onion – chopped fine
- 1 celery rib – chopped fine
- 4 cloves, garlic – minced
- 1 teaspoon, dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon, red pepper flakes
- 3 anchovy fillets – minced to a paste
- 1 28 ounce can, diced tomatoes
- 1 piece, parmesan cheese rind (about 5 by 2 inches)
- 2 cans, cannellini beans – drained and rinsed
- 3 1/2 cups, low sodium chicken broth
- 2 1/2 cups, water
- salt – to taste
- 8 ounces, small pasta (Tubetini, Orzo, etc.)
- 1/4 cup, parsley – chopped
- ground black pepper – to taste
- 3 ounces, parmesan cheese – freshly grated
Heat oil in heavy bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.
Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and anchovies; cook stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add tomatoes with their liquid and deglaze. Add cheese rind and beans; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer to blend the flavors, 10 minutes.
Add chicken broth, water, and 1 teaspoon salt, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
Add pasta and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
Discard the cheese rind. Off the heat stir in 3 tablespoons of the parsley; adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the soup into individual bowls; drizzle each serving with olive oil and sprinkle each with a portion of the remaining parsley.
Serve immediately passing the grated Parmesan separately.