It started off as a peasant dish in Italy using inexpensive ingredients and what better recipe to make on a shoestring budget?
You can make this strictly vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 2 (15 ounce) cans cannelini or kidney beans (undrained)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups dried pasta (traditionally ditalini is used but you can use elbow shape)
- Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the oil. Saute the herbs and chopped vegetables until soft. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the cans of beans with their liquid (it will help thicken the soup), tomato sauce, broth and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then stir in the pasta. Lower heat and allow the pasta to cook for about 8 minutes.
- Turn off heat and remove the herbs before serving.
- Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top (optional).