Southern Italian chili sausage soup with beans and pasta, Authors:
Eduardo Esatico & Gerardo Gagiardi. Translation: di reston. Apologies for doing this in metric. You should have no trouble converting to lbs and ounces.
For 4 people
320g mixed pasta.
Everyone who cooks pasta accumulates small quantities of this and that pasta somewhere along the road. When this happens, Italians usually mix the lot up together to avoid waste.
500 Cannellini beans (white beans)
2 large cloves garlic
1 whole chili pepper. Use your own judgement to assess how much would suit you.
Spicy Italian sausage. Here they use 'nduja. This addition is definitely a matter of judgement for you cooks and chefs. You just calculate how much is right for you.
1 stick celery. Again, use your own judgement.
two - three fresh basil leaves, preferably on the large side. You could add more, if you want to.
salt and pepper.
Soak the beans in water overnight, with a pinch of bicarb.
Next day, change the water and replace with the same quantity. Put into a large pan. Add a pinch of salt half way through the cooking time. Total cooking time should be around 2 - 3 hours.
In another pan, fry the 'soffritto' - the base flavourings and herbs, on this occasion it will be: EVOO, garlic and chili, and then the celery and bacon lardons. This soffritto is very typical of southern Italian cookery.
When the soffritto is ready, that is, softened in the pan but not mushy, cook for a further 20 mins, and then add the dry bits of pasta that need using up, and the liquid. Stir frequently, keeping your eye on it. When it's 'Al Dente' i.e still has a chewyness about it, add the olive oil, the best you can afford, and then the fresh basil leaves. Check for doneness, and dish up.
Old Italian saying: 'Lying in bed doesn't cook the beans'
Hope this is ok.
Enough is never as good as a feast Oscar Wilde