2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 slices of bacon cut into 1” pieces or 3 oz. pancetta
1 shallot, finely minced
1 pound Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
6 – 8 red potatoes, washed and cubed
4 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed
5 cups beef stock
2 cups canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup Ditalini or other small tube pasta
Parmesan cheese rind
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garnish: Homemade Basil Pesto (optional)
- Melt butter in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bacon, and shallots to the pan. Sauté until the onion is translucent and the celery is soft, approximately 10 minutes.
- Add the Swiss chard and potato, cook for 2 – 3 minutes before adding the tomatoes and rosemary sprigs. Simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down.
- Process 1 cup beans with ½ cup beef broth in a blender until smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, dry pasta and Parmesan cheese rind to the pot and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally until the potato pieces are tender and the pasta is cooked.
- Add remaining whole beans and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Top with a swirl of homemade basil pesto and serve with crusty Italian bread and shaved Parmesan cheese.