8 ounces dried small white beans or cranberry (borlotti)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium leek, white and tender green parts only, cut into thin rings
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and quartered lengthwise
½ lb winter squash (such as butternut, Hubbard, Kabocha, or Kuri) seeded, peeled, and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
6 ounces (1/2 medium) rutabaga (or 6 ounces turnips or parsnips, peeled and cubed)
½ small can (7 ounces) whole plum tomatoes in juice
Bouquet garni: several fresh bay leaves, several sprigs of thyme and parsley, tied securely with twine
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 quarts (8 cups) of water
½ head Savoy cabbage or bunch of kale (or combination), thinly sliced
⅓ cup capellini/angel hair or spaghetti, broken into small pieces
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 recipe Pistou (recipe to follow)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Sea salt to taste
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Soak the beans beans overnight. The next day, drain the beans. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large stockpot. When hot, add the the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the leeks, onion, garlic, squash, carrots, rutabaga (turnips or parsnips), tomatoes, bouquet garni, and 1 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and saute another 5 minutes.
Add the drained beans, stir to combine, and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add 2 quarts (8 cups) of water, re-season with salt, and simmer gently, uncovered, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour (cooking time will vary according to the freshness of the beans).
Taste for seasoning and re-season with salt and pepper.
Add the kale and/or cabbage and cook a few more minutes, until just wilted.
Add the pasta and boil until just al dente. Taste for seasoning.
Serve hot, topped with pistou and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
For the mint-basil pistou: place the minced garlic, salt, and basil in the bowl of a food processor, and process to a paste. Add the oil and process again. Taste for seasoning. Stir again before serving.