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Pasta e fagioli is a straightforward and warming soup that’s definitive of Italian peasant cuisine. Marco Canora passed on this version, which is one of our favorite dishes during the cold winter months. Don’t forget to have the garlic bread in oven and ready to go for your feast.
Game plan: Traditionally, pancetta is included in pasta e fagioli to provide more intense flavor. If you want to use it, add 3 ounces of diced pancetta with the garlic. If you prefer some heat, add a few dried red peppers when you put in the herbs.
For a slacker solution, buy high-quality canned white beans instead of cooking the beans yourself.
Beverage pairing: A medium-bodied Chianti would make a nice partner to this hearty bean soup. Try something juicy, smooth, and uncomplicated, like the 2003 Castello di Monastero Chianti Superiore.