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"Paternostri" with beans broth

(Paternostri in brodo di fagioli)

  • 200 grams of "paternostri" (this is a kind of short pasta shaped like a ring)
  • 400 grams of beans (the so called "cannellini"), boiled in abundant water with a meat stock cube
  • a small branch of rosemary
  • 5-6 leaves of sage
  • one carrot
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 10-12 spoons of olive oil
  • one spoon of tomato purée
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • the small leaves of a branch of rosemary
  • 1/2 tube of anchovy paste
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Take a blender and put 2 big spoons of very hot beans cooking water together with the herbs (garlic, rosemary, sage, carrot) with abundant olive oil (10-12 spoons) and mix all these ingredients very well.
Then take a saucepan, put the above mixture and let it boil over a medium heat, turning it often taking care it does not fry lightly, until it will not send out any garlic smell. (about 5-6 minutes).
Take the blender once again and put half amount of the boiled beans with abundant cooking water and the tomato purée and mix this stuff until you have a very smooth mixture. Then pour it in the above saucepan, turn and mix very well with the previous mixture, let it boil once again and cook it very slowly for about 5-6 minutes.
Put the other beans in the blender (leave 4-5 spoons of beans to use afterwards) together with the remaining cooking water and with the anchovy paste. Mix this stuff, you will have a quite thick mixture; add this mixture to the boiling broth in the saucepan. Turn and mix it, taste and if necessary add some more salt. Check if this broth is quite liquid (otherwise add a big spoon of hot water), then drop the pasta, turn and take care that anything would attach to the bottom of the pan. Cook it according to the cooking time indicated on the pasta package (about 10-12 minutes).
Serve it very hot after having add in each soup plate the remaining beans and season with abundant oil and abundant grinded pepper.
Generally pasta and beans ("pasta e fagioli") is considered a delicious soup, but heavy and difficult to digest. This is mainly due to some ingredients which are normally fried lightly. But our pasta and beans presents a surprise, because we do not fry lightly herbs and oil, as a preliminary operation, but we boil them and the final result is simply excellent, in perfect harmony with the parametres of the collective imaginary our members. They agree, especially the old members, on the fact that this recipe is absolutely close to the memory they have about this preparation, since they were young. We have not eliminated, or at least mitigated, the other characteristic that beans have, that means the "darting" (Lorenzo il Magnifico once said "che poi sgonfiar bisogna"), because it represents a very important satisfaction!

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati

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