I have always been in awe of the Fall. When your heart starts beating in anticipation of what’s to come and forests speak in colors that take your breath. And after that when inevitably, the last leaf floats to the ground and dries to dust. That there is still a pulse. After the crowds have gone. Under the ice and wind. That there is something alive in the stones and bones. I am sure of it.
To make a pasta fazul, start with dried beans. Let them soak overnight in cold water and in the morning, drain them and add them to the pot with fresh water, a solid spill of olive oil, three or four pinches of salt, thyme and bay leaves tied together, a few whole cloves of garlic, and an ancho chili. Let that go, covered, until the beans are completely tender. Taste for olive oil and salt. One should speak to the other, not overwhelm the other.
In a saute pan, sauté two yellow onions, a peeled carrot, and four or five stalks of celery, all chopped finely, a few halved cloves of garlic, fresh sage and thyme tied together, and a whole peperoncino, in olive oil. Add a good pinch of salt. Sauté until the vegetables are completely tender and caramelized. Add just the tomatoes, crushed with your hand, from a 28 ounce can of tomatoes, and reduce for 5 minutes. Add a cup of homemade chicken stock, or water. Combine with the beans and continue to simmer. Remove about a third, and smash with a fork. Cook pasta separately until seriously al dente. I like fat, short, rigatoni. Drain the pasta well, and add enough beans and liquid to make a soup. Simmer for a moment, then shower with parmesan or ricotta salata and a drizzle of olive oil.