Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring
Salt Table Salt Table Southern Italian Blend
This is my own version of “pasta e fagioli,” a perennially popular thick Italian soup. The seasoning is simple and easy with Salt Table’s Southern Italian Blend, but it would also be good made with River Street Cobblestone or Savannah Spanish Moss Blends.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground chuck
- Salt Table’s Southern Italian Blend, River Street Cobblestone Blend, or Savannah Spanish Moss Blend
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large rib celery, strung and chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 6 cups homemade meat broth or 2 cups beef broth, 2 cups chicken broth, and 2 cups water
- 4 cups cooked cranberry or pinto beans, drained
- 8 ounces ditalini or small elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
How to Make it:
- Put the oil in a large (at least 4 quart) heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When it’s hot but not smoking, add the beef and brown it lightly, crumbling with fork or spatula. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and season it liberally with Southern Italian Blend. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes, then add the celery and carrot and sauté until they’re softened and the onion is pale gold, about 4 minutes more.
- Return the meat to the pot and stir in the tomato paste and broth. Raise the heat and bring it to simmer, then adjust the heat and simmer gently 20 minutes. Raise the heat once more and add the beans, season well with Southern Italian blend, and bring back to simmer. Adjust heat and simmer 10-15 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning blend, adding slightly more than you think it will need since the pasta will somewhat dilute the seasoning.
- Stir in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, using the package directions as rough guide for time. Stir in the parsley and serve with cheese passed separately.