Left over Tomato Sauce? Make Pasta e Fagioli!

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While it hardly seems like winter here in Orlando, it is still soup season! Not too long ago, I made a Fresh Tomato Sauce and had a little bit left over. Not enough to have another bowl of pasta, but enough to make a base for a Pasta e Fagioli soup! I had purchased organic celery and carrots at the farmers market, and was anxious to use them in a dish!

note: I had actually written this entry a week and a half ago, and then fell ill. All blogging ceases when I am not feeling well! Do not wait this long to use tomato sauce, make sure it is all used within a week!

Ingredients

tomato sauce
tomato
mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic
1 carrot (I had a really really large carrot)
2 stalks of celery
3 cups of water
2 cups great northern beans
1-2 cups small pasta noodles
2 tbs olive oil
sprinkle of bay leaves
sprinkle of rosemary
sprinkle of parsley

Since I had a modest amount of sauce, I decided to add more to my base. I placed two plum tomatoes, 4 mushrooms, and 3 cloves of garlic in my ninja, and pulsed until completely liquified. I then added it to the already made tomato sauce, and placed it on the stove over medium-high heat. Rinsing out my ninja, I placed the carrot and celery (wash both thoroughly!) back into the blender, and pulsed until chopped. This saves so much time! I added the veggies to the mix, poured three cups of water, the bay leaves, rosemary, and parsley, and simmered.

I had made great northern beans in my rice cooker prior to starting this adventure, so I had fresh beans to add to the mix. I like a lot of beans in my soup, so I used two cups of cooked great northern beans in my soup. (note: usually cannelloni beans are used. This website Cannelloni beans vs Great northern beans vs Navy beans clears up any confusion. Basically, they are interchangeable in soups).

Once the soup had cooked for some time, and my kitchen started to smell marvelous, I added in pasta. I had previously cooked the pasta and frozen it, waiting for an occasion to use tiny soup noodles. Fun Fact: You can freeze single servings (or whatever serving size you want) of cooked pasta, and then either flash boil it (drop it in boiling water until it separates and heats) or place it directly in the soup! The heat of the soup breaks apart the noodles, and does not over cook them! Once the noodles defrost, lower the heat to a simmer, and wait about 10 minutes.

This soup made me deliriously happy! I had tons for left overs, but did need to add more water as the pasta inevitably soaks up a lot of the liquid. This does not water down the taste though!

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