Making soup is one of my favorite things to do in the fall - and anytime of year, actually - so this year I decided to master three real Italian soups. Here's what I came up with:
1. Pasta e Fagioli
When I was in Bologna, I spent half the time wandering around the markets there - everything looked so delicious and exotic, even though Bologna is only three hours away from Cortina! I bought a bag of borlotti beans because they were pink and white, and because I've never cooked with them before.
I decided on pasta e fagoli because I realized the beans were quite big and I thought they'd be better in a soup rather than sliding around on our plates. But actually, if you're making pasta e fagioli, I would recommend not to use borlotti beans. It turns out that when they're cooked, they lose their beautiful pink and white coloring and turn an off-putting shade of gray! I actually made this soup twice because I had so many beans - the second time, I mashed them up so that we didn't notice that there were huge gray beans in our soup, and that was much better. Here's the very rough recipe that I made up as I went along:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup beans - barlotti if you're going to mash them up, cannelli if you're not
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth - more as needed
1/2 small pasta shape - I used ditalini rigati
1 tbsp rosemary, fresh or dried
Parmesan cheese for serving
Heat olive over medium heat in a soup pot. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion has softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the beans and cook one more minute. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to the time indicated on the box. Stir in rosemary and serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan on top.
While I've made pasta e fagioli many times before, Riboletta was a new one for me. I used this recipe from the New York Times that my aunt sent me and it was fantastic. So hearty and filling that even Ryan agreed for ONCE that a bowl of soup was a meal. Finally!
This is a favorite of ours and is possibly the easiest soup in the world to make:
Boil 2 cups (or however much broth you want) of chicken broth, throw in some tortellini and cook it according to the package - usually about 3 minutes - chop up some parsley, grate some Parmesan, sprinkle both on top and it's done!