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Why?  Minimal ingredients.  Minimal meat.  Lots of vegies.  Maximum taste.  Even better the next day.  Freezable.  One pot wonder.  Make loads in a vat!  Or make in a slow cooker.

Here it is…

Pasta with Borlotti Beans

·    200g (1 cup) dried borlotti beans (or substitute 1 x 400g can borlotti beans/ or 4-bean mix/ chickpeas etc.)
·    small slosh of olive oil
·    100g pancetta, diced
·    1 celery stalk, chopped (can use more)
·    1 onion, finely chopped
·    1 carrot, diced
·    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
·    black pepper
·    3 tablespoons chopped parsley (or more)
·    1 bay leaf
·    400g tin chopped tomatoes, drained (or use fresh)
·    1.5 litres (6 cups) vegie stock
·    150g macaroni, or any other smallish pasta, eg. shells
·    grated Parmesan, Romano or Pecorino cheese

If using dried beans, place in a large pot, cover with cold water and soak overnight.  Drain and rinse under cold water.  If using canned beans, put them in a colander and rinse.

borlotti

Heat olive oil in large pot, add pancetta, celery, onion, carrot and garlic.  Saute for 5 minutes until golden.  Season with black pepper.  Add parsley, bay leaf, tomatoes, stock and beans, bring to the boil.  Reduce heat, simmer until beans are tender (1-1.5 hours if using dried beans), adding a little boiling water every so often to maintain the level.

Add pasta and simmer for about 6 minutes (until pasta is just al dente.)  Remove from the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes.  Serve warm with cheese.

Adapted from The Food of Italy, a journey for food lovers, Murdoch Books, 2005


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