It turned out every bit as delicious as I thought it would. I didn't make many changes from the original recipe, I halved some parts of the recipe, added bacon because beans and bacon could be their own food group and I increased the amount of beans because the boy is a big fan of beans. I also made fresh pasta though dried would be perfect of course. Not many people are as crazy as I am ;)
1/2 medium onion, cut into big chunks
1 medium carrot, in big chunks
1 celery stalk, in big chunks
4 garlic cloves, 3 left whole, 1 finely chopped
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
2 T tomato paste
3 1/2 cups cooked, drained beans (save cooking liquid for water in recipe, if desired) or 2 15-ounce cans small white beans, rinsed
1/2 pound short tube pasta
1 T minced fresh rosemary
4 slices crisp bacon, crumbled
- Pulse onion, carrot, celery, whole garlic cloves, parsley, and red pepper flakes (to taste) in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat and add vegetable mixture to pot. (Quickly rinse, but no need to fully wash, food processor as you’ll use it again shortly.) Season generously with salt. Cook, stirring from time to time, until vegetables take on a bit of color, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste. and cook it into the vegetables for another minute. Add 1/2 cup water or bean cooking liquid and use it to scrape up any bits stuck to the pot. Let simmer until liquid has almost disappeared, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add beans and 2 more cups of water (or bean cooking liquid) to the pot and simmer until the flavors meld, about another 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente, or still a little firm inside. Reserve 1/2 cups cooking water from your drained pasta.
- Transfer one cup of the bean mixture to your rinsed food processor and purée it until smooth, then stir it back into the sauce to thicken it. Add drained pasta to bean sauce and cook the mixture together, adding pasta cooking liquid as needed, until the sauce coats the pasta, about 1 to 2 more minutes.