Also known as Pasta e Fagioli, a simple bean and pasta soup. The pasta continues to soak up the broth as the soup cools, so keep some broth on hand to thin out the leftovers.

serves 4–6

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans or 2 cups cooked white beans, any variety
8 oz. ditalini pasta
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, carrot, and celery for 2–3 minutes, until vegetables are soft and translucent. Add tomato paste, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, and thyme and sauté 1 minute. Add the stock, tomatoes, and beans and bring to a boil. Add pasta and keep soup at a strong simmer.

When the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the parsley, cheese, and salt. Add black pepper to taste.

Recently Joy acted on a persistent daydream by converting part of her backyard into a garden for berries and a second garden to build up the soil for vegetables. When she isn’t tending these new gardens, she dabbles in food styling and design for Edible Ohio Valley and volunteers on a local farm.