magalotti's pasta fagioli soup

1/2 pound of bacon
drizzle of olive oil
1 onion finely diced
1 small head of garlic, finely minced
1/8 to 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
ground pepper
1 14oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 small can (6 oz) tomato sauce
6-8 cans of chicken broth
2 knorr brand chicken bouillon cubes
the rind off a hunk of romano or parmesan cheese
4-5 cans of cannelini beans
handful of freshly chopped parsley
1/2 pound of ditilini pasta

1. partially freeze the bacon (to make it firm to cut.) chop finely.
2. render bacon over medium heat in a large soup pot, stirring frequently, until it is well browned and tender. remove the bacon from the pot and put it on a paper towel to soak up grease.
3. keep a couple tablespoons of bacon fat in the pot, add a drizzle of olive oil. add onion. sweat onion over medium heat until soft & translucent.
4. add garlic, some black pepper, and chili flakes. cook for another 1-2 minutes and stir frequently. (don't let garlic brown, that makes it taste gross.)
5. add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth and chicken bouillon. add the cheese rind. bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes on low heat.

6. while soup cooks, make ditlini pasta. drain and rinse pasta. put it in a covered bowl and srpinkle some olive oil (to keep it from sticking.) add parmesian and parsley if desired.
7. after 30 minutes, check the soup. add a little salt if need. if it seems flat, add a squeeze of lemon. if it tastes good and seems done, fish out the cheese rind.
8. rinse beans and add to soup. add cooked bacon. cook for a few more minutes with lid on.
9. add a handful parsley at the end. it's done!!!
10. keep noodles seperate and add to each bowl you eat. if you put the noodles in the soup they soak up the broth.
11. this is great with crusty italian bead & butter, parmesan and red pepper flakes. YUMMY!

cleaning it all up is a bitch though...