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Recipe from: Lidia's Italian Table by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich
1 ½ cups Navy beans, soaked and drained
3 quarts cold water
3 large baking potatoes, peeled
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 ½ teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 recipe trito
1 cup canned tomatoes, crushed
¼ pound ham hocks or pork butt
1 cup ditalini pasta
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Place beans in a heavy 5 quart pot. Add water, potatoes, rosemary, bay and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until light golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in the Trito and continue cooking until fragrant and very lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer 10 minutes.
Add the Trito mixture to the soup pot along with the ham hocks If using pork butt add it in 30 minutes after adding the trito mixture. Continue simmering until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. As soon as the potatoes are done, remove them from the pot, mash roughly and return them to the pot. Remove hocks from the pot and set aside to cool. When cooled remove meat from the bone and dice.
Bring soup to the boil and stir in the pasta. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is tender, about 8 minutes. Add diced meat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Serve in bowls with the grated Parmesan.