When fatigue sets in: Pasta Fagioli

I know I had it bad last night–it’s normal to lose sleep after the market crashes and your line of work happens to be a luxury–but think about the candidates. They have to come up with a plan, memorize it, convince the world that it’s the right thing to do and still look natural. What do you eat at a time like this? Pasta Fagioli. This is when everyone needs a grandmother who will hug you, and carries a frying pan on the campaign trail.
Heat the pan. Give it a good pour of the best olive oil you can get your hands on. This is no time for bitter. Wack a whole head of garlic in half, and keeping one half in tact, saute cut side down until golden. Add a sprig of rosemary, a few tablespoons of minced flat leaf parsley, a bay leaf, the inside stalks from a head of celery, an onion, a leek, and on carrot, all finely minced. Season with kosher salt until it tastes delicious to you. This is going to take a while to cook. Cut yourself a piece of cheese and rip off a hunk of bread. Pour yourself a glass wine, and stand by your pan. Stir every once in a while to prevent scorching. The flame should be about medium. Now, you can either make your own cannellini or borlotti by starting from dry, but if you have no grandmother on board, and no space left in your brain to plan ahead for this kind of thing, canned is OK.
Strain and rinse a can of beans. Roughly smash them. When the vegetables meet your approval for being done (don’t rush this bit; it should take 20-25 minutes), smash as much of the garlic with a fork as you would like to keep in the soup, and add a 28 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes that you have squished with your hand, and the beans. If you want less tomato, just remove the tomatoes from their juice, and freeze that liquid for another time. Simmer the tomatoes for at least 15 minutes.
Add a quart of unsalted chicken stock that you made yourself. (this is sooooo much better than canned or boxed or cubed. Would you rather kiss an envelope or a human?) Bring to a boil and add two handfuls of orchiette or rice shaped pasta or even broken bits of fettucine. Cook until al dente. Let rest off the heat for a minute. Serve with a great shower of Grana Padano and a drizzle of olive oil. This is also good poured over a piece of grilled or toasted ciabatta or pugliese or baguette that was lightly rubbed with a raw garlic clove and drizzled with olive oil.
Breathe deeply, and think quietly about the options.

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