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Pasta e Fagioli

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Antique Walnut & Pewter Fork circ. 1880 Bohemia
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Recipe by: Chef John V., A Good Cooking Recipe!

Description: A classic Italian white bean and pasta soup!

Serving size: 6-8 servings

Preparation time: about 1 hour 30 minutes

Amount/Measure/Ingredient:

2 cups dried white beans, sorted and picked over for foreign matter  
2 ounces Prosciutto trimmings, chopped fine  
2 tablespoons olive oil  
1/2 cup onions, finely diced  
1/4 cup celery, finely diced  
1/4 cup carrots, finely diced  
3 cloves garlic, finely minced  
2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced 1/4 inch  
1 cup tomatoes, Italian plum, diced  
1 bay leaf  
1 sprig fresh rosemary, 2 inches long  
1 tablespoon salt, more or less to taste  
1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly crushed  
2 quarts chicken stock  
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil  
2 cups pasta, (dried small shells or elbows) cooked al dente and cooled  
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese  
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped  

Preparation:

Cook the beans in the chicken stock with the salt until just tender, about one hour. Render the Prosciutto with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 4 quart heavy bottom pot. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and cook until soft over medium-low heat, 5-6 minutes. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, bay leaf, rosemary, black pepper and the cooked beans and stock. Simmer for twenty minutes, add the cooked pasta, taste for seasoning, and add more salt if needed. Remove the bay leaf and serve hot in bowls or cups, sprinkle with Parmesan, extra-virgin olive oil, and chopped parsley. Oh yes, don't forget crusty Italian bread!

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