One-Pot Wonders

Pasta è Fagiole è Scarola (Soup with Beans, Bow Ties and Escarole)

May 18, 2011
Author Notes

Soup is the first food I think of when I need to feed a bunch on a small budget. Beans and pasta are easy to make delicious with a few inexpensive vegetables. You can add meat or not, but just a small amount of boniness adds huge amounts of flavor. This is my favorite soup for early autumn.

I lived in the Italian North End of Boston for six years. During that time I came to think of food in the Italian manner – shopping daily and formulating my menus from what was best in the market. This soup is typical of those dishes I developed during that time. To complete the meal, all it takes is a fabulous loaf of Italian-style crusty bread and a bottle of delicious Barbera d’Asti. Buon Appetito! —ChefJune

  • Makes 8 main course or 12-16 starter servings
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds (shelled) fresh shell (Cranberry) beans (or 1 pound dried, soaked overnight)
  • 1/2 pound prosciutto end piece, chopped (bribe it from your Italian deli man!)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade – or water)
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 16 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pints escarole, shredded
  • 1/2 pound bow tie (Farfalle) pasta
In This Recipe
  1. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until limp and translucent.
  2. Add everything else but the escarole to the onion mixture. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour over medium heat.
  3. Add 2 pounds escarole, shredded. Bring back to the boil and turn the heat off.
  4. Just before serving, cook 1 pound of farfalle (bowties) separately. Add to hot soup. Serve with grated Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese to sprinkle on top.

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