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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Pasta and Bean Soup

Last night's dinner was Pasta and Bean Soup. This recipe comes from the April/May edition of Cook's Country. The soup was excellent and so much more than beans and pasta. The freah basil added at the end bightens the flavor and the Italian sausage makes the soup very hearty. I changed the recipe up some because I was making it for 2 and did not want copius leftovers. I halved the beans, the broth, the oil, the onion, the garlic and the pasta. All of the rest of the ingredients were in the full recipe as written. The magazine, however, used hot Italian sausage and I used sweet. I love hot food, but have never been a fan of hot Italian sausage. For some reason, it always seems too hot to me and overpowers the other flavors in the sausage.

Pasta and Bean Soup

1 (16 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic, cloves, minced
1 tsp. resh rosemary, chopped fine
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup star shaped or other small pasta
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Puree half of beans with a 1/2 cup of broth in a food processor until smooth; set aside. Cook sausage in large pot over medium-high heat, breaking into pieces, until no longer pinik, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel lined plate.

Add oil and onion to fat in pot and cook unti softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, remaining whole beans, remainig broth, pureed beans, sausage, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer until tomatoes and oinions are very soft, about 15 minutes.

About 10 minutes before soup is done, bring 1 quart of water to boil in a large saucepan. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, add to soup. Stir in basil and Parmesan

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