1 lb. podded, fresh Borlotti beans
Three tbs. olive oil
One small onion
One clove garlic
Two tbs. parsley, chopped
One ripe tomato, quartered
Two tbs. lard
1/3 lb. mixed dry pasta (maccheroncini rigati, or maltagliati)
Five tbs. grated Parmigiano
How to make the Pasta e fazool:
Put 2 qt. of water in a pot; use tiny salt since, as the water evaporates, the salt will intensify. Add the beans and simmer with the pot covered till ready. Finely chop the lard, onion, garlic, parsley, and tomato.
Saute in oil over medium heat until the lard has melted and the vegetables begin to get tender. Set aside. When the beans are done, add the soffritto, bring to a boil and add the pasta, stir and let it cook until the pasta is al dente (about 8 min.). Add more hot water or broth if you feel it is getting too dense. When the soup is ready, add a pinch of freshly ground pepper and 2 tbs. Parmigiano. Serve with the remaining Parmigiano.
Before adding the pasta, you may pass about half the beans through a food mill and return the broth’s resulting puree.
You may eliminate the soffritto. When cooking the beans, add the crushed clove of garlic, the onion, tomato, parsley, and olive oil when the beans are almost done.
You can also use other types of beans such as cannellini, navy beans, etc.
If you use dry beans, you must soak them overnight.
Practically every region of Italy has its version of Pasta e Fagioli.
Pasta e Fagioli is also known as pasta fazool and many other variations on the spelling derived from the various local dialect of the Italian regions.