Garden Pasta Fagioli Soup Recipe

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Garden pasta fagioli soup is a traditional dish that uses either bacon or pancetta. Find out how to make garden pasta fagioli soup with help from the owner of a family Italian restaurant in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Italian Dishes
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How are we doing? My name's Clemenza Caserta, we're at Stuzzi, today. We're going to be doing a little pasta fagioli, you can say it two ways, pasta fagioili or pasta fagioli. Now, what we're going to do is, a little garden style pasta fagioli, o.k., very simple. A way to start the classic, traditional pasta fagioli, is either a little bacon or pancetta. Pancetta is Italian bacon, white beans, garlic, a touch of sauce, a touch of chicken stock and some pasta, that's it. But we're going to a little modern twist on it, we're going to it a little garden style. So, what we're going to do, a little celery, o.k., very simple, o.k., a little carrots. Now, again, we're doing this garden style, we're not rocking it out traditional style, o.k. And because of the garden we have outside and the beautiful herbs we've got, I deiced to use a little zucchini. O.k., now, what I'm going to do is, so everything cooks too. When you're chopping vegetables, a tender vegetables, you're doing something, you want to try to cut everything as even as possible. So, it all cooks the same way. So, you got a crunchy carrot and mushy, the celery, a little zucchini. Very simple, a quick, little dice, there you have it. Now, get this out of the way. What I'm going to do real quick, get our pancetta cut, again, pancetta is Italian bacon. What we're going to do, when we do this, is we're going to render the fat. When you render something, that means it's going to cook out all the fat, all the oil, we're going to get it nice and crispy. So, we've got pan going over here, we're going to get the pancetta going, get that cooking. O.k., now, when you do the pasta fagioli, pasta fagioli, whatever you want to call it, I don't care. Very simple, use any pasta you want. You can use a tubettini, you can use spaghetti, chop it up, you can use penne, use anything, whatever makes you happy. Mix them all up, I don't care, go crazy. Alright, now, once your pancetta is rendering, I'm going to add a little bit of garlic, o.k. Now, you don't want to put too much oil, because the trick is this. When you're doing a pancetta, and you've got the fat from the bacon or the pancetta, it's going to create enough oil for you to use. But I am going to cheat a little bit, and I do want that fresh olive oil taste, a little bit of olive oil to help that along. Always season, a little bit of crushed red pepper, a little bit of black pepper, a little bit of salt. Now, pancetta and bacon are very salty, again, you don't want to go too heavy on the salt. We'll get that rendering, we're going to add our vegetables. O.k., once again, we're doing a garden style pasta fagioli, o.k. We've got our vegetables, let that go. Now, when you're doing vegetables, you want to sweat the vegetables, meaning, you want to cook it on a medium to low flame, you want to sweat it, you want all the flavor to come out. You don't want to do it on a high flame, because all you're going to do is, get color burning and you're going to get no flavor out of it. Again, medium to low flame, let them sweat, let all the flavor come out. And always make sure you season things. O.k., now that's almost about ready, what we're going to do now, a little white bean. O.k., now, there's a trick to this too, I sometimes, I do it, sometimes, I don't do it. You can take your beans, when you open up, if you don't make fresh beans. O.k., you're using a can, white beans, don't drain the liquid, the liquid's going to help you give it a nice consistency. What you can do is, take some beans aside, puree them and you make it thick. Some people like it soupy, some people like it thick. I don't care how you like it, I like the beans, the pancetta, the bacon, the vegetables, it's a beautiful thing. Now, again, you've got your vegetables going, your zucchini, your garlic, your pancetta, a little bit of carrot, a little bit of celery. Bam, we're going to add some white bean to that, pasta fagioli, o.k. There we go, a little garden style pasta fagioli, with a little zucchini, a little carrot, some Italian bacon, which is the pancetta. Now, with this, what we're going to do, we're going to add a touch of chicken stock, a touch of tomato for some color. We're going to cook it down, a few minutes. And again, always taste it, make sure you're building, when you're cooking, you're building layers of food, salt, pepper. Now, you just add a little bit of tomato sauce, I know, there's no seasoning. So, I'm going to add another little pinch of salt. Now, what I have here, is some pasta that I have leftover, it's the beauty of this dish too. It's a pheasant dish. Add some pasta leftover from the night before. I know, I like to save things, I chopped up a little bit of penne. Again, you can use tubettini, you can use penne, you can use spaghetti, chop it up, use whatever makes you happy. We're going to add a little bit of pasta in there, let it cook down a little bit. Now, me, personally, I like to finish this with a little bit of shaved Parmesan cheese. And that's the dish again, Italian style pasta fagioli by Clemenza Caserta, bon appetit.

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