Pasta e Fagioli Recipe

Posted on

Pasta e Fagioli Recipe



Prep time

Cooking time

Total time


Pasta e Fagioli, pronounced as “pasta eh fah-joe-lee,” is a beloved Italian soup that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people worldwide. This rustic and comforting dish, also known as Pasta and Beans, is a delightful blend of pasta, beans, vegetables, and savory herbs. It’s the perfect meal to warm your soul on a cold day or to enjoy as a hearty, nutritious bowl any time of the year.

In this article, we’ll explore the history of Pasta e Fagioli, the ingredients required, the step-by-step cooking process, and some variations and tips to make the dish truly your own. So, let’s dive into the world of this timeless Italian classic.

Table of Contents

A Brief History of Pasta e Fagioli
Ingredients You’ll Need
Preparing Your Ingredients
Cooking Pasta e Fagioli: Step by Step
Variations and Personalization
Tips for Perfect Pasta e Fagioli

A Brief History of Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli, like many Italian dishes, has humble origins that date back to the country’s rural past. Its name translates to “pasta and beans,” reflecting the core ingredients of the dish. It was initially created as a way to make a hearty, filling meal with readily available ingredients, especially during lean times.

Over the centuries, Pasta e Fagioli has evolved into a regional favorite with numerous variations across Italy. Each region has its unique spin on the recipe, emphasizing local ingredients and culinary traditions. Despite these regional differences, one thing remains constant: the heartwarming, comforting essence of this dish.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To create a delicious pot of Pasta e Fagioli, you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the Soup:

1 cup dried cannellini or borlotti beans (or two 15-ounce cans of beans)
1 cup small pasta (such as ditalini, elbow macaroni, or small shells)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Garnish (optional):

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh parsley, chopped

Extra-virgin olive oil

Preparing Your Ingredients

Before you start cooking, make sure all your ingredients are prepared and ready to go. Here’s what you need to do:

If Using Dried Beans:

Rinse the dried beans thoroughly under cold water.

Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl of water or use the quick soak method by bringing them to a boil, letting them simmer for 2 minutes, and then removing them from the heat. Let them sit for an hour.

Drain and rinse the soaked beans.

For the Soup:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Add the chopped onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.

Stir in the canned diced tomatoes (with their juice), dried oregano, and dried thyme.

Add the soaked and drained beans (if using dried) or the canned beans (with their liquid). Mix well.

Pour in the vegetable or chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the beans are tender.

For the Pasta:

Cook the pasta separately according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Cooking Pasta e Fagioli: Step by Step

Now that your ingredients are prepped, let’s dive into the cooking process:

Once the beans are tender, check the soup for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you prefer a smoother soup, you can use an immersion blender to partially blend the soup while still leaving some beans and vegetables whole.

Add the cooked pasta to the soup and stir well. Allow it to simmer for an additional 10 minutes, letting the pasta absorb the flavors of the soup.

Remove the pot from heat and let it sit for a few minutes to meld the flavors together.

Variations and Personalization

One of the fantastic aspects of Pasta e Fagioli is its versatility. Here are some variations and personalization options to consider:

Protein Additions:

Add Italian sausage, ground beef, or ground turkey for extra protein and a meaty flavor.

If you’re a seafood lover, try adding cooked shrimp or small scallops.

Vegetable Variations:

Experiment with different vegetables like zucchini, spinach, or kale to enhance the nutritional profile and flavors.

Consider adding a handful of frozen peas or green beans for extra color and texture.

Herbs and Spices:

Customize the herb and spice blend to suit your taste. Basil, rosemary, or bay leaves can be excellent additions.

A pinch of red pepper flakes can add a subtle kick if you enjoy a bit of heat.

Dairy or Cream:

For a creamy twist, stir in some heavy cream or a dollop of ricotta cheese just before serving.

A sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top of each bowl is a classic garnish.

Gluten-Free or Low-Carb Options:

Use gluten-free pasta or even zucchini noodles (zoodles) for a gluten-free or low-carb version of Pasta e Fagioli.

Tips for Perfect Pasta e Fagioli

To ensure your Pasta e Fagioli turns out perfectly every time, consider these tips:

Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality canned tomatoes, beans, and pasta for the best results.

Pre-soaking Beans: If using dried beans, don’t skip the soaking step. It helps reduce cooking time and ensures even cooking.

Don’t Overcook Pasta: Cook the pasta separately and slightly undercook it. It will continue to cook in the hot soup, preventing it from becoming mushy.

Balancing Flavors: Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. You can also add a touch of sugar to balance acidity from the tomatoes if necessary.

Storage: Pasta e Fagioli reheats wonderfully and can be stored in the refrigerator for several days or frozen for longer storage. However, if you plan to store leftovers, consider cooking the pasta separately and adding it to individual servings to prevent it from absorbing too much liquid and becoming mushy.

Pasta e Fagioli, with its rich history and versatility, embodies the essence of Italian comfort food. Whether enjoyed on a chilly winter evening or as a satisfying meal any day of the year, this rustic dish is sure to warm your heart and soul.

As you experiment with different ingredients and personalizations, you’ll discover that Pasta e Fagioli can be as unique as the region it originates from or as familiar as your own family’s kitchen. So, gather your ingredients, follow the steps, and savor the deliciousness of this classic Italian soup.

Serving and Presentation

The presentation of your Pasta e Fagioli can enhance the overall dining experience. Here are some serving and garnish ideas to make your dish even more appealing:

Bread and Croutons: Serve your Pasta e Fagioli with crusty Italian bread or garlic croutons. These additions provide a delightful contrast in texture and a satisfying crunch.

Fresh Herbs: Garnish each bowl with a sprig of fresh basil or parsley. The vibrant green colors will add a burst of freshness to your dish.

Parmesan Cheese: Grate some Parmesan cheese over each serving just before digging in. The salty, nutty flavor of Parmesan complements the soup beautifully.

Drizzle of Olive Oil: A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil on top of each bowl adds richness and depth of flavor.

Individual Servings: If you’re hosting a dinner party or special occasion, consider serving Pasta e Fagioli in individual bowls with a decorative flourish, such as a basil leaf or a Parmesan crisp.

Pairing Suggestions

To complete your Pasta e Fagioli meal, consider some complementary pairings:

Salad: A simple green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing pairs well with Pasta e Fagioli, providing a fresh and crunchy contrast to the soup’s richness.

Wine: For a classic Italian experience, pair your Pasta e Fagioli with a light Italian red wine like Chianti or a crisp white wine such as Pinot Grigio. Alternatively, a hearty bread and a glass of sparkling water can be a refreshing choice.

Dessert: Finish your meal with a classic Italian dessert like tiramisu or panna cotta to round off the flavors.

Pasta e Fagioli is more than just a soup; it’s a comforting embrace, a taste of tradition, and a canvas for culinary creativity. Whether you follow a cherished family recipe or craft your unique version, this Italian classic has a special place in the hearts and kitchens of people around the world.

As you prepare and savor each spoonful of this soul-warming dish, remember the history and love that have gone into its creation over generations. Whether shared with friends and family or savored in solitude, Pasta e Fagioli is a reminder that the simplest of ingredients can yield the most extraordinary flavors.

So, gather your ingredients, let your creativity flow, and enjoy the heartwarming journey of making and savoring Pasta e Fagioli. Buon appetito!


Beginner-friendly recipes / Coffee Recipes / Easy Recipes / foods / Pasta e Fagioli Recipe / Quick recipes / recipe / Recipe collections / Tea recipes

You might also like these recipes