Pasta e Fagioli (Northern Region)

This pasta e fagioli recipe is a northern Italian version that incorporates pancetta and pureed cannellini beans for a thicker, creamier soup. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and semolina bread for dipping. This recipe is really delicious and a family favorite!

3 15-oz. Cans Cannellini Beans
½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 oz. Pancetta, Chopped
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1 Tsp. Each, Dried Parsley, Rosemary & Oregano
5 Cups Beef Broth
½ Cup Canned Tomatoes, Crushed
½ Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
½ lb. Ditalini Pasta

Take 2 cans of the cannellini beans, undrained, and place in a blender. Puree until smooth, and pour in a large bowl. Drain the liquid from the third can of cannellini beans and pour the beans in the bowl with the pureed beans. Separately, in a large skillet, heat ¼ cup of the olive oil and sauté the pancetta until lightly browned, approx. 4 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pan. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, parsley, rosemary, and oregano. Saute an additional 1 minute. Place the pancetta along with the onion mixture in the blender and process until smooth. Return the blended ingredients to the pan, along with the beans. Add the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil, along with the beef broth. Bring to a boil, add the canned tomatoes, red pepper flakes and ditalini pasta. Simmer for approx. 10 minutes, until the pasta is cooked through. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.