Entertaining? Guests love the informality and ease of a soup party. Make this robust, highly flavorful Italian pasta and bean soup the centerpiece of the gathering. Pasta e fagioli is an Italian classic, always varied according to the cook’s preferences and creativity.
I made several batches and opted for fresh rosemary over dried, prosciutto over smoked ham, canned beans over cooking dried beans and a final swirl of arugula leaves. The soup develops rich flavors when made a day or two ahead.
Serve warm baguette slices with gremolata butter; gremolata is a mixture of minced parsley, lemon zest and garlic that is typically sprinkled over osso buco. It adds a fresh edge to the bread. And for dessert, offer a coffee biscuit tortoni with amaretto cream.