Tuscan Bean Soup with Sfoglini Spaccatelli Pasta is a recipe based on one from my Tuscan cookbook. I have been wanting to make this soup since the summer when I received the book from my friend Cristina while in Arezzo on that wonderful trip. This Tuscan Bean Soup with Sfoglini Spaccatelli Pasta is so comforting and this pasta is to die for.
It is made with Organic Durum Semolina flour and water. That’s it! And it is so delicious, really like homemade. My husband could eat this pasta every night so if the good folks at Sfoglini in Brooklyn, NY want to send me a case of this stuff, bring it on!
The pasta shape is Spaccatelli and is sometimes referred to as Strozzapreti or “priest collars.” It resembles a rolled-up scroll or towel, smooth and tight. Legend has it that the name refers to how annoyed Italian men became at seeing their wives labor over cooking extravagant meals for the local clergy. Ha! This two inch strand of tubular pasta is a great substitute for ziti or macaroni in any dish and is superb with a chunky meat sauce as the shape envelops the sauce into the curved folds.
Rather than a chunky sauce that you can make on your own, I opted to highlight this pasta in this luscious bean soup. Plan ahead as you have to soak the beans overnight before cooking, but this is well worth it. This soup is so Tuscan, so comforting, and so perfect on a cold winter night.
I suppose you could use drained and rinsed canned beans but cooking the real thing is so much better. And it’s not much effort. It’s just time. So give this a go!
TUSCAN BEAN SOUP WITH SFOGLINI SPACCATELLI PASTA – serves 8
8 oz. Sfoglini Spaccatelli Pasta
1 lb. dried cannellini beans
8 oz. of ripe or canned tomatoes, crushed
8 cups of vegetable stock
3 cloves of garlic and 1 clove of chopped garlic
1 onion, chopped
3 sage leaves
Chili pepper flakes
Extra virgin olive oil
Rinse and cover the beans with 3 inches of cold water and soak overnight. The next day, rinse, drain and cover with 1½ inches of fresh cold water. Add 3 wholes cloves of garlic and sage leaves and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 1.5 – 2 hours, partially covered, until very tender, making sure the beans are always covered with water. Add salt to taste when done.
Puree the beans in a blender with some of the water until you achieve a smooth puree.
In another saucepan, sauté the finely chopped onion and garlic in a little oil. Add the tomatoes and chili pepper flakes and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the bean puree and hot broth. Add salt to taste and bring to a simmer.
Fill a separate large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add coarse sea salt and the Sfoglini Spaccatelli Pasta and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and add to the soup, stirring for 1 minute to combine and to let the pasta finish cooking. Taste the pasta to be sure it is done. It should be al dente.
Ladle the soup in bowls, drizzle with olive oil and top with fresh ground pepper and serve with LOVE.
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