Pasta and Bean Soup ( Pasta E Fagioli) with Ham and Escarole

February 4th is National Homemade Soup Day and my dear Blogger friend,Michaela from Affair From The Heart Food Blog http://anaffairfromtheheart.blogspot.com/ is having a soup supper recipe round up. She was so kind to invite me to her virtual soup feast. This is the recipe that  I posted on Facebook . I had to post one of my favorite soups, Pasta Fagioli Soup ( Pasta Bean Soup). Some recipes for Pasta Fagioli simply include pasta and beans as the ingredients with garlic, but I like to add ham and Escarole to my Pasta Fagiloi soup. Seriously, I like to add lots of veggies to my soups, the more the merrier, I feel better knowing that my kids are getting at least one serving of  veggies, as teenagers, they are choosing to load up on carbs, so I try to have Protein and veggies for our dinner meal choice.One of my favorite hearty winter soups is this Pasta Fagioli Soup with Ham and Escarole.This is a whole -meal soup that draws its hearty peasant flavor from beans, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, ham, tiny pasta, and escarole. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is a delicious addition over the soup. Being Italian, I like to make an assortment of Italian dishes, my favorite past time is reading cookbooks filled with authentic Italian recipes. I fell in love with this soup when I visited abroad in Lecce one summer. I was traveling with a fiend and we were on a super budget, probably $5 a day. Her mother was a massage therapist and traveled all over the world. My friend and I spent time in Rome and then we were going to Lecce to meet her mother. She had told us that her friend’s were going on holiday and we could stay in their home. After traveling by boat then train, then hitching to Lecce, I felt like I was getting really run down, I started burning up with a fever, then I started shivering, I just wanted to lie down. We arrived at our new best friends home with open arms and brought to a huge guest room overlooking a vineyard, the sun was just starting to set, the golden orange glow lulled me into the king size bed draping with white down blankets and pillows. Our friends gave me a whole garlic head and told me to eat it, RAW. Worn down, I agreed, plus some other concoction that tasted like fuel oil, not that I have ever ingested fuel oil… I laid my head down and didn’t get up for 24 hours. After awakening, I dragged my body outside to feel the sunshine on my face. I was brought an espresso and a bowl of the most amazing tasting soup, lovingly prepared by angels. One taste of the soup, I knew that all was right in my world. Even though I smelled like an Italian sausage, I could force a smile on my face and the word, ” Gracie ” dripped out from my lips. When I prepare Pasta Fagioli Soup, I am brought back to a remarkable summer spent in Europe. Eat every meal like it is your first! Abundanza! A Familia! Buon Appetito!!
In a 6 quart pan, combine dried beans and about 2 inches covering the water, bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour ( or if you prefer cover beans with the water and let stand overnight.)
Mince 3-4 cloves of garlic and saute in 1 tablespoon Olive Oil until soft and golden brown.
Add one chopped onion to the garlic. Saute until soft and translucent.
Hello beautiful garlic and onions, you know you are the star of the show.
Add chopped celery and carrots, saute for a couple minutes.
These are my basic ingredients for most soups that I make, they give such a great flavor for so many soup bases.
Place a ham bone in the pot with the beans. Cover with 8 cups of water.
Add garlic, onion, carrots and veggie mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, covered, until beans are tender (2 to 21/2 hours). Lift out ham and discard bone; coarsely chop ham. Return ham to soup pot.
Saute 1 head of chopped Escarole, add  to soup pot.
Cook 1 pound Orzo in salted boiling water until pasta is aldente ( perfectly cooked but not overly soft, translated means, ” to the tooth”), add to soup pot. Add one carton of chicken broth. Turn heat up to warm the soup.
I love listening to  “That’s Amore” when making Pasta Fagiole Soup….Lyrics to That’s Amore:
(In Napoli where love is king
When boy meets girl here’s what they say)


When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie
That’s amore
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you’ll sing Vita Bella
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella


When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fagiole
That’s amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You’re in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you’re not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
Lyrics www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/dean_martin/
That’s amore


When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie
That’s amore
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you’ll sing Vita Bella
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella


When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fagiole
That’s amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You’re in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you’re not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
That’s amore
Lucky fella


When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fagiole
That’s amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You’re in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you’re not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
That’s amore, (amore)
That’s amore!! Buon Apetito!! Enjoy Pasta Fagiole!! I love you Big Guy, Deano THAT’S AMORE YOUTUBE:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iiajp9g3c8s
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Slightly adapted from the  Sunset Italian Cooking Cookbook           This recipe has been linked up to these wonderful blogs!

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6 thoughts on “Pasta and Bean Soup ( Pasta E Fagioli) with Ham and Escarole

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