This dish was a reminder of the days when meat was scarce, and beans were used to provide protein in the diet & a filling meal. Always a favourite.
9oz/250g Dried Cannellini Beans
Pinch Of Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Finely Chopped
2 Celery Sticks Finely Chopped
2 Fresh Tomatoes, Peeled, Seeded & Chopped
1 Fresh Red Chilli, Seeded & Finely Chopped
2 Tablespoons Of Passata
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Soak the beans overnight in plenty of cold water with a pinch of baking soda. Rinse well, & put the beans in a pan with 3 pints/1.5L of water. Cover the pan & bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, & simmer for at least 2 hours until the beans are al dente.
In the meantime, prepare the tomato sauce by heating a little olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic, celery, tomatoes & chilli. Reduce the heat & simmer for 10 minutes.
When the beans are nearly cooked, add the tomato sauce & passata. Continue cooking for another 20 minutes.
Cook the pasta in salty water for half of its cooking time. Add the pasta to the beans to finish cooking in the soup until the pasta is al dente. Let it stand for a few minutes before serving.