Monday, November 17, 2008

Italian Chili

I'm not much of a planner when it comes to dinner. I have a hankering (good word, eh) for something and then I make it, with or without all the ingredients. Sometimes it works out spectacularly, sometimes not. I was without proper supplies twice last weekend, once when I attempted a baguette (baking is just not my thing right now) and once when I made this soup. With the baguette, we only had wheat flour, and the bread turned out really dense (I am telling you, it was the flour!). For the soup, I made an extra run to my new favorite grocer, Wohlner's, to get pancetta from their superb meat counter but didn't realize I only had one can of kidney beans and no parmasan cheese. Instead of improvising with cannellini beans (which I have done before), I ran to the (slightly ghetto) No Frills down the street. There is no substitute for parmasan cheese. This recipe is another reason I love love love Giada di Laurentiis. It is flipping amazing. Salty, savory. For the skeptics (dad), I call it Italian chili, because it is pretty hearty.

(I do hate this photo, please trust that it tastes much much better than it looks)

Pasta e fagioli alla Giada:

1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 cup chopped onion 3 ounces pancetta (or bacon) 1 garlic clove, diced 5 4/3 cups chicken stock 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon dry thyme (or to taste) 1 teaspoon dry rosemary (or to taste) 3/4 cup elbow macaroni Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add the onion, pancetta and garlic and saute until the onion is tender (3 minutes). Add the broth, beans and herbs. Bring to a boil then simmer and cover until vegetables are tender (10 minutes). Puree 1 cup of the bean mixture in a food processor (this part is super important, I thought it was skippable, but it thickens the soup. Even my food processor can handle it). Return puree to mixture. Bring soup to a boil and add macaroni. With the lid on boil until macaroni is soft (8 minutes). Season with salt, pepper and parmasan cheese.

1 comment:

Jess said...

it sounds good.
I have experienced No Frills. Oy.