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Paula Butturini's Zuppa di Fagioli

kept bytihleigh

Note from Farmgirl: Paula's original recipe is below, with my changes noted in parentheses. As always, I urge you to seek out locally produced and organic ingredients—they really do make a difference.

Note from Paula: You can speed the whole process by using a 20-oz can of good quality, canned, white or cranberry beans, and using only 3 to 4 cups of water. In that case, you simply skip Steps 1 and 3, and add the canned beans and water to the stockpot at the end of Step 2.

Paula's note: You can prepare the entire soup ahead of time—it actually tastes better if it spends a night in the fridge and is reheated the next day—but DON'T cook the pasta until you're ready to serve it, or the macaroni will turn to an unappetizing mush. (I cooked the soup, let it sit in the fridge overnight, then reheated it on the stove, stirring in the cheese and parsley just before serving.)


1 cup dried white or cranberry beans (I used two 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans)
2 quarts water (I used 2½ cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped (I used 2 cups)
1 large carrot, finely chopped (I used 1 slightly mounded cup)
2 stalks celery, with their leaves, finely chopped (I used 1 slightly mounded cup)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used 1½ Tablespoons)
1 ham bone, 1 pork rib, or 1/4 lb. salt pork (I used a 10-ounce smoked ham hock)
Small can Italian tomatoes, roughly chopped (I used a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes)
1½ teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup small, tubular macaroni (I left it out)
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (I used 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano)
Handful of finely chopped fresh, flat-leaved parsley (I used 1/2 cup)



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