serves 4

A nearly infinite variety of variations on the classic bean and pasta soup can be found throughout Italy. No wonder it’s so popular—it’s hearty, filling, and delicious. This soup can also be made with leftover cooked pasta—just add during the last few minutes to heat up.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup chopped onions

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Red pepper flakes

2 bay leaves

1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and

rinsed

4 cups vegetable broth (page 15)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup ditalini or other small pasta shapes

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes to taste, and bay leaves. Add the chickpeas and broth, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer to blend the flavors, about 10 minutes. Add the ditalini and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes more. Remove the bay leaves before serving.