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Author Notes: Little Italy in the Bronx is my original source for pasta fagioli. I wanted to make my own at home and tried many different recipes and tried to recreate variations I had tasted on Arthur Avenue. This recipe is infinitely resilient. You can use different vegetables, different seasoning meats, and make it vegetarian or not. —luvcookbooks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces spice rubbed pancetta
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 cup shell beans, shelled
- 1 cup yellow wax beans, chopped
- 1 28 ounce can cannellini beans
- 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
- 1 bunch dandelion greens, carefully washed and torn
- 8 ounces ditalini or other small pasta
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- olive oil for the table
- Cut pancetta into 3/4 inch cubes and heat gently in olive oil until slightly crisp.
- Stir in the onion and saute until soft but not colored. Add garlic, carrot, shell beans, and yellow wax beans and stir to coat.
- Add chicken stock and dandelion greens and bring to a boil. Add cannellini beans and simmer for about 25 minutes, until vegetables are tender but not mushy.
- Smash some of the beans against the side of the soup pot with a wooden spoon. This adds great body to the soup.
- Just before you are ready to serve the soup, stir in the pasta and cook until just done. Stir in a handful of Parmesan cheese, then serve more Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil to add at the table.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Way to Cook Greens