KITCHEN , from P . 12
“ I do cook a lot for my family . I tend to bring a lot of dishes ,” Leiser said about spending special occasions at other people ’ s homes .
She has several younger relatives and has a tip for picky eaters .
“ My advice is to always have salad and to have bread ,” Leiser said .
Her own son is an adventurous eater .
“ He tries all different cuisines ,” she said .
Leiser said Evan oftens joins her as she cooks .
As the Pasta e Fagioli bubbled on the stove , Leiser said the Rosemary Focaccia from the cookbook Polpo : A Venetian Cookbook ( Of Sorts ) she was kneading is a good bread to start to bake for newbies to baking bread .
The soup was cooking in a Le Creuset enameled cast-iron pot .
“ You should have the best tools you can afford ,” Leiser said , adding that a mesh pasta scoop is something everyone should have .
If she had the time , Leiser said she would go to cooking school .
She said she has watched a ton of cooking shows .
“ Pasta Grannies ” is a favorite and can be found online .
Always the teacher , Leiser said she would also like to some day share her talent with others .
Learn more about Leiser and view her recipes at https :// jerseygirlinthekitchen . blogspot . com .
THE HAMMONTONIAN | JANUARY 2022 | P . 13
SUSAN WATSON LEISER ’ S PASTA E FAGIOLI
Makes 8 servings jerseygirlinthekitchen . blogspot . com
1 tablespoon olive oil 2 slices pancetta , chopped 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary , minced 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 bay leaf 1 onion , finely chopped 2 small carrots , finely chopped 1 celery rib , finely chopped 4 garlic cloves , minced Salt and pepper to taste 1 19-ounce can Cento cannellini beans , drained and rinsed 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes 1 inch piece of Parmigiano cheese rind ( optional ) 4 cups low-salt chicken broth 4 cups water 1 cup ditalini , tubetti or elbow pasta
In a large soup pot , heat olive oil over medium heat . Add pancetta . Stir frequently and cook until lightly browned . With a slotted spoon , remove pancetta to a small dish .
To the soup pot , add onion , carrots and celery . Stir to coat in oil . Add , rosemary , thyme , bay leaf and salt and pepper . Cook for 5-7 minutes . Add garlic . Cook for another minute or two .
Add cannellini beans , diced tomatoes , broth and water . Return pancetta to pot . Add Parmigiano cheese rind , if using . Stir . Season with salt and pepper . Bring to a simmer . Cook partially covered for 45 minutes . Stir occasionally .
Fill a separate small pot with water . Bring to a boil and add salt . Cook pasta as directed on package instructions . Drain pasta .
Once soup has finished cooking after 45 minutes , add pasta .
Serve in bowls topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of grated Parmigiano cheese .
Please note : You may need to add more water if you would like the soup more brothy .
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