- 3 T. Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 – 4 medium-sized garlic cloves, finely minced
- 4 c. chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided
- 1 t. dried oregano
- 1 t. 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
- 3/4 c. uncooked Ditalini or elbow pasta
- 1 can cannellini beans with liquid
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 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.