As the autumn is beginning to feel more like winter, and the sun has finally left Manchester, soups and pastas are always on the menu
This meal gets you the best of both worlds! I normally like to serve it with homemade bread and this time I did it with a focaccia mix 🙂 Rosemary & garlic make this a perfect combination for the soup. Again it’s another trip to Italy, but for me this is definitely hitting all the marks for comfort food during a cold, cloudy week.
Pasta e fagioli con focaccia
Ingredients: for the soup
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped (can use a food processor for this)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 potato chopped
- 2 ripe tomatoes chopped or half a can of pre chopped tomatoes
- 1.25L Veg stock
- sprig of thyme, sage, or rosemary
- 800g cannellini beans
- 150g small dried pasta, such as orecchiette (I used gigli tricolore)
- a pinch of crushed dried chillies
- salt & pepper
- freshly grated parmigiano* veggie version
Ingredients: for the bread
- 450g strong plain flour
- 7g sachet easy blend dried yeast
- 125ml virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing and greasing
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- leaves from a sprig of rosemary
- coarse sea salt
- a baking sheet lightly oiled
- Start off with your bread as it takes more time to prep. Put your flour & yeast into the food processor, and with the motor on a low speed gradually add the oil and 300ml warm water. Let this go until it forms a soft dough. Remove to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
2. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and spread it evenly to the edges with your hands. Brush all over with oil, push the cherry tomatoes & rosemary leaves lightly into the surface of the dough at regular intervals, and then sprinkle with sea salt.
3. Cover with a damp, clean tea towel and put in a warm place for 40 minutes until doubled in size 😀
4. Whilst the bread is doing its thing, get going on the soup!
5. Heat your oil of choice in a large saucepan, add the onion and let it cook down a bit, roughly 5-10 minutes until translucent (I caramelised mine because I am addicted). Add the garlic & potato and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden.
Add the tomatoes to the saucepan and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until its nice & soft
6. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F) Gas 6 and bake your bread baby until its golden, about 20 minutes.
7. Whilst the bread is in the oven, add your stock, herbs, beans, pasta, dried chillies, salt & pepper to your potato mixture. Bring this to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, until the pasta & potatoes are cooked.
8. Serve the focaccia warm or at room temperature.
9. Ladle your soup into 4 bowls & serve sprinkled with your favourite cheese