Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta Fazool)
A Classic Italian-American comfort food with rich, creamy flavors.
One of the most hearty pasta dishes around. Perfect for any time of year.
Combine beans, thyme, sage, and garlic in a large stock pot and cover with water. Water level should be about 4 inches above beans. Bring to a boil on high heat then reduce to low-medium for at least one hour. After the beans are cooked add the salt. Let the beans rest in the pot. Tip: soak the beans the night before in cold water and they will cook a little faster.
Bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 3 minutes only. Strain and set aside.
Heat a thick-bottomed, 6 quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, smashed garlic, cherry tomatoes and basil. Let it cook until the tomatoes are very soft (about 15 mins).
Add liquid from the beans and the parmigiano rinds.
After simmering for 10 minutes, add the beans and pasta. Stir occasionally. After a few minutes the sauce will start to thicken due to the release of the starch from the pasta.
When the pasta becomes al dente remove from the fire. Immediately add parmigiano and parsley. Stir rapidly.
Taste, season with salt and pepper if necessary. Let rest for 5 mins before serving.
Top your bowl of pasta fagioli with parsley and crunchy breadcrumbs for added texture.