Serves 6 / Your dinner’s centerpiece. The simple homemade chicken broth (brodo) is the basis for the deeply satisfying flavor. Ingredient tip: Choose an unusual pasta shape, like fusilli, for visual appeal. Using whole-grain pasta is delicious here and doesn’t feel heavy in so much broth. Prep tips: Cooking in advance and letting the broth set for a day makes it taste even better. Serving tip: Crusty bread with this course would be nice.
1/2 cup dried scarlet runner beans (azuki, cannellini, or heirloom beans may be substituted)
2 pounds organic chicken legs and thighs
6 bay leaves
4 cups water
2 yellow onions, sliced into crescents
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin circles
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh garlic
2 teaspoons dried basil
8 ounces whole-wheat fusilli pasta
Fruity olive oil, for garnish
30 individual flat Italian parsley leaves
1. Soak beans overnight; drain. Cover with fresh water, bring to a boil, and simmer until soft, at least 1 hour. (These may be cooked several days in advance and refrigerated.)
2. In a large pot, combine chicken, bay leaves, and water; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. Cool. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from water (reserve water). De-bone meat, discarding skin, and refrigerate. Return bones to cooking water and let simmer for another hour or more, adding water to yield 4 cups of broth at the finish.
3. Strain broth from bones, discarding solids. Add onions, carrot, tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Return to boil, skim off foam, reduce heat, and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add cooked beans and chicken meat, and season generously to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight.
4. Before serving, reheat broth mixture. Cook pasta al dente in boiling salted water. Drain and toss lightly with oil. Place 1/2 cup cooked pasta into each serving bowl. Top with reheated broth, garnish with a dash of fruity olive oil, and 5 single parsley leaves floating on top.
PER SERVING: 333 cal, 11% fat cal, 4g fat, 1g sat fat, 73mg chol, 28g protein, 47g carb, 8g fiber, 392mg sodium