Pasta con Fagioli and Pancetta

November 7, 2007

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This recipe comes from Emily’s friend Dorothy who loves all things Italian. Make it on a cold night and please everyone at your table. SAM & HARRY

1 1/2 cups borlotti beans, also called shellie or cranberry beans
3 to 4 cups chicken broth or water
2 slices pancetta, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound fettuccine, cooked al dente
Fresh basil or parsley, chopped
Grated Parmesan

In a covered medium chef’s pan, simmer the beans without salt in broth or water until soft, about 45 minutes. Sauté the pancetta till a little crisp. Add the olive oil, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook 1 minute. Add the beans and any pot liquor. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and toss. The pasta will absorb the liquid from the beans. Sprinkle with basil or parsley and top with Parmesan cheese, if you like, but real Italians use cheese only on pasta cooked with butter.
Makes 4 servings.

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