Monday, November 14, 2011

The Communal Table – Pasta and Bean Stew with Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe

My contribution to the Thanksgiving Feast is soup to be enjoyed mid-day.  It took me awhile to decide on the soup I wanted to make.  I wanted my soup to be as local as possible.  I’m pleased with this recipe and am thrilled to share that every produce item is local – Tomatoes frozen from earlier in the CSA season, Onions from our last CSA pick up, and Broccoli Rabe and Garlic from the winter farmer’s market. 

Scroll to the bottom of the post to see what other local foods will grace our Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration and to see all the other food on The Communal Table.

Pasta and Bean Stew with Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe
adapted from Pasta & Bean Stew from Williams-Sonoma Soups & Stews

serves 10-12 adults

Printable Version

¾ cups olive oil
3 small onions, thinly sliced into half-moons
4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 14 oz. bags frozen tomatoes (canned tomatoes work great too!)
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
8 cups broth
3 15 oz. cans cannellini beans
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups orecchiette (ear shaped pasta)
2 bunches broccoli rabe, small, rough chop
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
Shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium-low heat.  When the oil is hot add onions, cook until they begin to soften, 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, cook 1 minute till fragrant.  Add the tomatoes (with juices), red pepper flakes, broth, and beans (with liquid).  Stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then add the pasta.  Turn down the heat, but maintain the large bubbles.  Cook 15 minutes, until pasta is tender.  Add the broccoli rabe and tomato paste, cook 10 additional minutes. 

Before serving, sample the stew.  If dull add more salt, pepper, or crushed red pepper.  If you would like a looser consistency add more broth.

To serve, ladle into bowl and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan.

Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration
Here are the other dishes I’m sharing with food from my CSA and the winter farmer’s market.

I’m doing dinner Wednesday night as we gather together from far and wide.  We are going to have the blog favorite of the fall – Braised Chicken with Butternut Squash andCranberries.  For dessert we’ll have Carrot Cake.

Here is what else is being served at The Communal Table

Cocktails, Appetizers, Soups and Salads:
Sweet Life Bake: Pumpkin Margarita
Easy Peasy Organic: Thanksgiving Ginger Cocktail
Dishin and Dishes: Butternut Squash Bruschetta With Sage Pesto
Mooshu Jenne: Green Salad
Two Peas and Their Pod: Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Salad
Jones is Hungry: Roasted Vegetable Salad
Purple Cook: Pasta and Bean Stew With Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe
From My Corner of Saratoga: Curried Pumpkin Soup

CIA Dropout: Turkey and Stuffles Roulades With Squash Mash
FN Dish: Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey
My Angel's Allergies: Cranberry-Glazed Cornish Hens

Cafe Terra Blog: Cranberry Pumpkin Stuffing
Virtually Homemade: Twice-Baked Cheddar and Chive Potatoes
Easy Eats Magazine: Sausage and Dried Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing
The Sensitive Epicure: Oyster Dressing and Gravy
Daily*Dishin: Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Supreme
What's Gaby Cooking: Rustic Herb Skillet Stuffing
Family Fresh Cooking: Coconut Brown-Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Silvana's Kitchen: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Mushroom-Rye Stuffing
The Cultural Dish: Cranberry Sauce

I Am Baker: Pumpkin Cake
Heather Christo: Pumpkin Vanilla Ice Cream Pie
And Love It Too: Pumpkin Custard (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Haute Apple Pie Girls: Double Pumpkin Mini Pies With Candied Pecans
Ladles and Jelly Spoons: Not Your Same Old Pumpkin Pie
Daydreamer Desserts: Cuban Diplomatic Pudding
Thursday Night Dinner: Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Caramel Apple Pie


  1. Fun to be in this Thanksgiving feast with you! Your recipe looks amazing. Please update the link to my mashed sweet potatoes recipe, it is incorrect:

  2. So beautiful, love that everything is locally grown, makes the soup perfect to me! It was fun cooking with you at the Communal Table with Food Network! Take care, Terra

  3. This recipe looks and sounds wonderful - wish I had a big bowlful right now! Best regards, Scott