Pasta ‘e fagioli’ (with beans)

Serves Icon
Serves4 - Note: Soak the beans the night before
Time 01 Hour 50 Minutes
  • 300g dried borlotti beans
  • 100g red kidney beans
  • 2 tablespoons (40ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 30g tomato paste (alternatively 200g Italian passata)
  • 2 litres water
  • 3 stalks silver beet (chard/swiss chard), white stalks discarded and coarsely chopped
  • 200g ditalini pasta
  • Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper

How to Make It
Step 1

To be completed the night before cooking: Place the beans in a large heavy-based stockpot and cover with cold water. Leave to soak overnight which will reduce the cooking time of the beans.

Step 2

The next day, drain the beans and rinse well under cold running water. Set aside.

Step 3

To make the ‘soffritto’ (sautéed base flavouring), heat the olive oil in the stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, bay leaves and rosemary. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes until the onion is soft.

Step 4

Stir the beans and tomato paste (or Italian passata) into the soffritto. Pour the cold water into the stockpot and add the silver beet (chard/swiss chard). Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 1 ½ hours or until the beans are tender (check every 5-10 minutes after beans have been cooking for 1 hour as the cooking time of beans varies considerably).

Step 5

For a shorter cooking time, cook the dried borlotti and red kidney beans in a pressure cooker for approximately 40 minutes.

Step 6

Once the beans are cooked, season to taste. Add the ditalini pasta, referring to the cooking time specified in pasta packet instructions.

Step 7

To serve, ladle hot pasta e fagioli among serving bowls. Top with Parmigiano Reggiano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil – buon appetito.

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