Cranberry Bean Pasta Fagioli
(adapted from Food Network Magazine)
6 cloves garlic, diced or pressed in garlic press
1 small onion, peeled & chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, more to taste
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (substitute dried if needed)
1 large can of crushed whole tomatoes
2 cups dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight
2 bay leaves
1 package whole wheat orzo or whole wheat macaroni noodles
1 bunch kale, stems and ribs discarded and leaves chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
In a soup pot, saute onion in a few tablespoons of water. Add more water if the onion starts to stick. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and rosemary. Cook until onion is translucent and starts to lightly brown, approximately 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes. Add the beans and approximately 3 quarts water and the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, 1.5-2 hours.
Uncover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5-6 minutes more. The soup should be thick and hearty. Thin with water if necessary. Remove the bay leaves prior to serving.