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Pasta Fagioli Soup

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 slices pancetta or bacon chopped

Two sprigs rosemary, left intact

2 sprigs thyme

1 large fresh bay leaf

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 small carrot, finely chopped

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

4 large cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper

Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans

1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes

6 to 8 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups ditalini pasta

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat a soup pot over medium high heat and add oil and pancetta or bacon. Brown the pancetta bits lightly, and add herb stems, bay leaf, chopped vegetables, and garlic. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Add beans, tomatoes, and 6 cups stock to pot and raise heat to high. Bring soup to a rapid boil and add pasta. Reduce heat to medium and cook soup, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente. Rosemary and thyme leaves will separate from stems as soup cooks. Remove herb stems and bay leaf from soup. If soup is too thick add more stock. Serve with Parmesan cheese on top.

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