Zuppa di fagioli con pasta fresca
(Bean Soup with Fresh Hand Made Pasta)
("Cooking in an Umbrian Home" Program)
Ingredients for 4 persons
For the pasta:
300 g of plain flour
Try to get Tipo 'OO' flour - this is a very finely sieved flour which is normally used for making egg pasta or cakes. In Italy it's called "farina di grano tenero", which means 'tender' or 'soft' flour.
For the bean soup:
- 150 g of beans (cannellini or borlotti)
- 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 medium onion
- 3 medium carrots
- 3 ribs of celery
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tbs of tomato paste
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- grated Parmigiano cheese for serving
Prepare the hand made pasta:
Place the flour on a board or in a bowl. Make a well in the center and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth. Using the tips of your fingers, mix the eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time, until everything is combined.
Put it in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour before you use it.
Roll the dough with the rolling pin, dusting the board from time to time with some flour.
Then cut it in lozenge (diamond shaped). Now they are ready to be cooked in the bean soup.
Prepare the bean soup:
The night before, soak the beans in cold water so that the next day you will find them completely hydrated and ready to be cooked. Drain them and put in fresh cold water with half an onion, 1 celery rib and 1 carrot, gently let them boil until tender. Add - only now! - some salt.
Drain them, but keep the water!
Sautè in a pan with 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, 2 diced carrots, half chopped onion, 2 ribs of celery and 4 rosemary stems. If you like you can add some pancetta (bacon). Let cook for 4-5-minutes at medium heat.
Add the drained beans, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and 2 - 3 liters (about 8-12 cups) of the water. There must be enough liquid to cook the fresh egg pasta you are going to add! Let the pasta cook for 3-4 minutes (depending on its thickness).
Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, grated parmigiano cheese and freshly ground black pepper.