This is one of my favorites. I’m a sucker for tomatoes and pasta. This Italian classic found it’s highest calling in a recipe I found in Cook’s Illustrated.
Other than using a bit less water than called for (since I like this soup really thick), it is substantially unchanged.
A can of anchovies is seldom used all at once. Place the unused ones in plastic wrap and a plastic bag and place in the freezer.
Also, parmesan rinds can often be found in grocery stores now (or ask the cheese seller). Get a container of them, use what you need, wrap the rest in plastic and a plastic bag and save in the freezer for use as you need it.
- 1 TBSP olive oil (if using panchetta–if using bacon omit this)
- 4-5 slices panchetta or bacon
- 1 med onion, diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, micro-planed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
- 1 28-oz can diced tomato
- 1 Parmesan cheese rind
- 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed
- 4 c chicken stock
- 1 c water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 c orzo or other small pasta
- 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
- grated Parmesan for topping
- Mince the panchetta or bacon and fry up about half way. If there is more than 2 tbsp of oil, pour off.
- Add the onions and celery and cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened.
- Add the garlic, oregano, pepper flakes and anchovies, stir for a minute.
- Add the tomatoes, rind, and beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 10 minutes.
- (You can stop here, if you are like me and love to cook in the morning. Turn it off and let it set until dinner time)
- Bring back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook at a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the parsley, stir in.
- Serve it up. Top with fresh grated Parmesan.
Extravagant? Drizzle some fine olive oil over the bowl!