Delicious Italian soup... Even better the next day. In the future, I may cook ahead for the next day just because the leftovers were sooooooo good.
I got this recipe from My Tasty Treasures, a great blog from another "regular" home cook. (She's actually kind of "special" in the nicest way possible.) It's great to find recipes on blogs rather than commercial websites, you know the recipes are ones that someone actually uses in their own home.
I've adjusted this a bit for our tastes. Also, the original recipe called for cannellini beans, but I always choose Great Northern as a substitute for any white beans. I just prefer them.
PASTA E FAGIOLI
4 ounces bacon (4 slices), chopped
1 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
8 ounces (1 3/4 cup) ditalini or other small pasta
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Cook the bacon in a large dutch oven over medium heat until crispy, about 8 minutes. Spoon out most of the bacon grease, leaving just a tablespoon or two. Stir in onion, garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes. Cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, beans, broth and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in the pasta and cook to your desired doneness (8 to 10 minutes for most small pasta). Off heat, stir in parsley and pepper to taste. Sprinkle individual bowls with Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings