Pasta e fagioli (pasta in borlotti bean cream), Venice
In a pot heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and add the onion, carrot and celery stalk. Fry until the onion becomes translucent for about 8-10 minutes. Next add half of the drained beans and the potato, fry all together for 5 minutes. Now add the passata, pour in some warm water to cover the vegetables by 2-3 cm, you can always add more later if needed. Reduce the heat, put a lid on and simmer stirring occasionally for a minimum of 1 hour until the beans turn soft.
Once the beans are very soft, puree the mixture until you get a lovely creamy texture.
Pour the cream back into the pot, add the remaining beans and the rosemary sprig (add more water if the mixture is very thick) and simmer on a very low heat with a lid on for the next hour or so until the beans become tender. In the meantime in a separate pan fry the cubed pancetta until it becomes golden and add into the bean mixture. Make sure you stir the borlotti cream fairly often as it tends to stick to the bottom.
Season with salt and pepper once the beans are almost cooked (adding the salt earlier turns the beans hard).
Now add the dry pasta into the borlotti cream and cook until it turns al dente stirring occasionally.
Cooking the pasta directly in the soup will thicken it.
You can always cook it separately if you wish to do so.
Taste and season again if needed.
Remove the rosemary from the pot, serve warm, drizzled with some good olive oil.