Use a pressure cooker to make this soup in less than an hour, even if you haven't soaked the beans. A piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano rind adds flavor and richness to the broth. We top each serving with fruity extravirgin olive oil.
2 cups dried cannellini beans or other white beans
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
How to Make It
Sort and wash beans. Combine beans and 2 quarts water in a 6-quart pressure cooker. Close lid securely; bring to high pressure over high heat. Adjust heat to medium or level needed to maintain high pressure; cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat; place pressure cooker under cold running water. Remove lid. Drain beans. Place beans in a bowl; wipe pan dry with paper towels.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add potato, onion, rosemary, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add beans, 2 quarts water, pepper, and cheese rind to pan. Close lid securely; bring to high pressure over high heat. Adjust heat to medium or level needed to maintain high pressure; cook 40 minutes. Remove from heat; place pressure cooker under cold running water. Remove and discard cheese rind.
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt and fat. Add pasta, salt, and diced tomatoes to soup. Ladle 1 1/4 cups soup into each of 8 bowls, and top each serving with 1 tablespoon grated cheese, 3/4 teaspoon vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon extravirgin olive oil. Yield: 8 servings.