Save Those Parmesan Rinds! Add Intense Flavor to Dishes like this Fast Pasta and Bean Soup!

Save the rinds from your hard cheeses, such as Parmesan or Asiago.  Store them in a sealed bag in the freezer. Add them to broths, soups, and stews to add intense flavor…like in this 30-Minute Pasta and Bean Soup.
Pasta e Fagioli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 – 4 slices pancetta, chopped
  • Two sprigs rosemary, left intact
  • One sprig thyme with several sprigs on it, left intact
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 parmesan rind (or rind from any hard cheese you prefer)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups ditalini
  • Grated Parmigiano or Romano for the table

 Heat a deep pot over medium high heat and add oil and pancetta. Brown the pancetta lightly and add herb stems, bay leaf, chopped vegetables, and garlic. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Add beans, tomato sauce, water, stock and cheese rind to the pot and raise heat to high. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Add pasta and continue cooking for 6 – 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the pasta is cooked al dente. Remove herb stems and bay leaf from soup. Let soup rest and begin to cool for a few minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and top with lots of grated cheese.

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