- 16 ounces dried white beans (we love Rancho Gordo Good Mother Stallards)
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
- 4 carrots
- 1 red onion
- 1 small bunch celery
- 1 medium zucchini
- ½ lb kale, ribbed & torn
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 c red table wine (try Handley’s 2012 Selected Red from Vittorio Vineyard)
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 3 quarts beef stock
- 12 oz macaroni
- 2 yellow potatoes, cubed
- 1 Tbsp crushed dried basil
- ¼ c dried parsley
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 to 2 Parmesan rinds
Soak the beans overnight in vegetable stock.
Place the beans in a sauce pan, along with the stock they’ve been soaking in. Heat to medium and bring to boil – lower heat to simmer, adding water as needed.
In a 10 quart stock pot with a heavy bottom, brown and crumble the sausage, then remove it to a plate or bowl.
Chop all vegetables. Add the carrots and onions to the rendered sausage fat and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the celery, zucchini, and a generous pinch of salt, and continue to sauté over medium heat until most of the moisture is gone.
Toss in the kale and garlic. Turn up the heat and deglaze the pot with the red wine.
Add back the sausage and any juices to the pot. Pour in tomatoes, with their juice, and the 3 quarts of beef stock. Add another generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium, add beans and their cooking liquid, dried macaroni, cubed potatoes, and more salt. Toss in dried basil, parsley, bay leaves, and Parmesan rind. Let simmer until beans are tender.
Serve in soup bowls with freshly ground pepper and finely shredded parmesan cheese.