Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dragon Bean Pasta Fagioli w/Cheesy Garlic Bread

*adapted from The FoodNetwork Magazine, but I made a few changes of my own*

Active time: 45 min/Total: 2 hr 25 min/Serves: 4-6 (I served 4 and theres a ton leftover)


5 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

5 cloves garlic, smashed

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1/4 t red pepper flakes, or more to taste

1 t finely chopped fresh rosemary (from my yard! ;)

1 2-oz piece pancetta (optional, but I recommend it!)

5 canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand

1/2 t oregano

Fleur de Sel

3 lbs fresh dragon/cranberry beans, in pods, shelled (or 1 c dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight. I used fresh dragon beans)

2 bay leaves

1 piece parmesan cheese rind, plus 1/2 c grated parmesan, and more for topping

2 c small shell pasta

1 bunch kale, stems & ribs discarded, leaves chopped

1/4 c roughly chopped fresh parsley (I omitted this cuz I didn't have any)

Freshly ground pepper


1. Heat 3 T olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and pancetta, if using, and cook 2 mins. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes; season with oregano & salt. Add the beans, 3 quarts water (if you can use chicken or veg stock, I say go for it), the bay leaves and parmesan rind. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, 1 hour 30 mins to 2 hours. (Mine took a full 2 hours)

2. Uncover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 mins. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 or 6 mins. (The soup should be thick and creamy; thin with water, if necessary. I didn't need it)

3. Remove the bay leaves, parmesan rind and pancetta, if used. Add the grated parmesan, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt & pepper to taste. Top with more olive oil and parmesan. Check seasonings. I added more salt.

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Halve a loaf of Italian bread lengthwise, then crosswise. Mix 3 T olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic and 1/4 t dried oregano; brush on the cut sides of the bread and toast 10 mins at 400. Mix 2 T grated parmesan and 1 cup each shredded asiago & cheddar; sprinkle on the bread and bake until melted, about 15 more minutes.

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