Spring is a great time for this light, tasty, healthy soup. Pasta e fagioli, also known as pasta fazool (and many other variations on the spelling) is a universal comfort soup that almost everyone has come up with, and there are a tremendous number of local variations on the theme in Italy. This particular one is Tuscan.
* 1 1/2 cups dried cannellini beans, or about 2 1/2 cups fresh
* 1 clove of garlic, whole
* 1 tbsp of milled flax seed
* The leaves from an 8-inch sprig of rosemary, minced (1 tablespoon, or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
* 1/4 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/4 pound good quality dried pasta (we find the corn pasta holds up better than rice pasta, but either works well)
* Salt and pepper to taste
If you’re using dried beans, soak them overnight and change the water, picking them over to remove stones or bean skins.
Cook the beans in 7 cups water, with the garlic, flax meal, and salt to taste until done — they should be quite soft.
Remove the beans from the pot with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid.
Pass the beans through a foodmill and back into the pot. Simmer the mixture until it is a creamy velvety texture, then stir the oil-and-rosemary mix into the pot.
Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper, and cook the pasta in it until it is al dente.
Great over corn bread – naturally!