Fire-Roasted Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e fagioli (literally, “pasta and beans”) is a standard Italian soup precious for its hearty nature. This version has all the veggies, pasta, and beans you expect from the traditional dish, with an additional touch. Charring tomatoes and peppers with a fast stint under the broiler offers this soupy stew its heady, fire-roasted taste. Meanwhile, pancetta offers a nice hit of salt, and fresh basil lends brightness. Beginning with freshly cooked beans takes the dish to the next level, but if you want, you can lean on canned beans (such as dark red kidney beans) instead.

We like to round this hearty soup out with buttery garlic bread and a basic green salad.

Frequently asked questions
What is pasta e fagioli?
Pasta e fagioli (literally, “pasta and beans” in Italian) is a traditional, hearty Italian bean and pasta soup.

What are borlotti beans?
Borlotti beans, typically called cranberry beans in the U.S., are thin-skinned beans popular in Northern Italy valued for their nutritiousness (they are unusually high in iron), not to discuss fantastic taste and a velvety texture. They can be discovered in many supermarket or you can acquire them from online sellers like Rancho Gordo.

Notes from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen
Covering the hot broiled peppers and tomatoes with plastic wrap creates a steamy environment that helps raise the peels or skins from the veggie quickly.

Make ahead
Pasta e fagioli can be made ahead and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Recommended pairing
Pick a bottle that’s zippy, minerally, and crisp, such as a Greek white. We love Domaine Sigalas AA Assyrtiko-Athiri.
Fire-Roasted Pasta e Fagioli
1 pound plum tomatoes, cored and cut in half lengthwise (about 4 tomatoes).

8 medium (8-ounce) red bell pepper, halved lengthwise.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for garnish.

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided.

1 (4-ounce) bundle diced pancetta (1/2 cup).

1 medium (8-ounce) yellow onion, finely sliced (about 1 cup).

1 large (5-ounce) carrot, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup).

6 big garlic cloves, carefully sliced (about 2 1/2 tablespoons).

4 cups vegetable broth.

1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

3 cups prepared and drained borlotti or red kidney beans.

1 cup raw dried ditalini pasta (about 4 1/2 ounces).

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish.
Preheat oven to broil with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Toss together tomatoes, bell pepper, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt on an aluminum foil– lined little rimmed baking sheet until covered. Arrange tomatoes and bell pepper in an even layer. Broil in preheated oven, turning halfway through cooking time, until charred, about 12 minutes. Transfer tomatoes and bell pepper with juices to a medium heatproof bowl; cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until cool adequate to manage, about 15 minutes. Get rid of and discard tomato and bell pepper skins. Slice bell pepper; reserved. Crush tomatoes using the back of a spoon, and reserve with juices in bowl. Set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium. Add pancetta, and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered and pancetta is beginning to crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a paper towel– lined plate to drain; reserve rendered fat in Dutch oven. Add onion to fat in Dutch oven; cook, stirring occasionally, till softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Include carrot, and cook, stirring occasionally, up until carrot is softened and onion begins to brown, about 6 minutes, adding garlic throughout final 2 minutes of cooking time. Stir in reserved crushed tomatoes and juices, sliced bell pepper, broth, black pepper, and staying 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt; bring to a boil over medium. Stir in beans and pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in basil and scheduled pancetta. Garnish with additional oil and basil.

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