Pasta E Ceci

Easy weeknight dinner when your pantry looks empty … Via Serious Eats.

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  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 large fresh rosemary spring
    • [Fresh herbs are the bomb, but if you don’t have them, don’t be afraid to substitute dried. Just remember the ratio: 1:3, one third dried of fresh.]
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium onion)
  • 3 ounces pancetta, chopped [or bacon!]
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • ¾ cup ditalini or other small, tubular pasta
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  1. Wrap the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth and secure with kitchen twine to make a sachet. [Or just add and remove stems before eating/ just add dried herbs.] Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, pancetta and garlic and sauté until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, beans, tomatoes and herb sachet. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the sachet.
  2. Transfer 1 cup of the bean mixture to a blender and reserve. [I did just a bit more because I wanted mine to be thicker and less soupy.] Add the ditalini to the soup pot, cover, and bring the liquid back to a boil. Boil gently until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Puree the reserved bean mixture until smooth, then stir the puree into the boiling soup. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with some Parmesan and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
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