½ lb. flageolet beans
1 T. olive oil
4 oz. guancale or pancetta, diced
1 large onion, minced
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ c. flat leaf parsley, chopped
4 turnips, diced
6 c. chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 c. small dried pasta shells, cooked
1 bunch asparagus, sliced ¼” thick
2 T. fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese, grated
Pick through beans for any stones. Cover with cold water and soak overnight. The next day, place beans and water in a deep saucepan. Bring to a boil on top of the stove. Skim off any foam that rises to the top and turn to a low simmer. Cook until beans are tender, about an hour to an hour and a half. Season with salt and allow beans to cool in the liquid.
In a wide-bottom pot over medium heat, sauté the guancale in the olive oil until guancale is slightly crisp. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the turnips and stir into the other vegetables. Cook for another couple minutes to soften slightly. Add the parsley and garlic and cook for minute to release the aroma of the garlic. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the flageolet beans and cook for 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta and chopped basil. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Ladle into warm bowls and grate fresh parmesan cheese over the top.
Enjoy with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Two Creeks Pinot Noir.