3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 – 4 medium-sized garlic cloves, finely minced
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil (1 tablespoon fresh)
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped seeds and pulp removed
2 medium tomatoes, seeds and pulp removed, pureed
¾ cups uncooked Ditalini or elbow pasta
1 can cannellini beans with liquid
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional Garnish: Fresh Pesto
- In a heavy bottomed pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add celery and onions and sauté until tender, but not mushy.
- Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to one minute. Do not brown.
- Add 2½ cups of chicken broth to pot.
- Season with oregano, basil, rosemary and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Add chopped and pureed tomatoes to pot. Simmer on low for 20 – 25 minutes.
- Add uncooked pasta and cook until tender. Approximately 10 minutes.
- Add beans and reserved liquids to pot and heat through.
Ladle into bowls and tops with a dollop of fresh pesto, if desired. Serve with freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese and crusty Italian bread.