Thursday, January 24, 2013

Recipe: Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)

After a few years of being spoiled by mild Winters here (felt more like Spring), Old Man Winter has come back with a vengeance and it is bitterly cold with temperatures below freezing.  Nothing like a bowl of hearty hot soup to warm you up but what to make? If you have been keeping your pantry stocked up with basic items bought on sale such as dried pasta, tomato sauce, canned beans, and chicken broth, you can make this hearty Italian soup called "Pasta e Fagioli". Pronounced "pastah eh fahzeeohl", it has been also popularly called "pasta fazool" by American-Italians.
It started off as a peasant dish in Italy using inexpensive ingredients and what better recipe to make on a shoestring budget?
You can make this strictly vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannelini or kidney beans (undrained)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried pasta (traditionally ditalini is used but you can use elbow shape) 


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the oil.  Saute the herbs and chopped vegetables until soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the cans of beans with their liquid (it will help thicken the soup), tomato sauce, broth and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then stir in the pasta. Lower heat and allow the pasta to cook for about 8 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and remove the herbs before serving.
  4. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top (optional).

1 comment:

  1. This is my kind of soup! I make a similar one but not necessarily the same spices. I do like thyme and rosemary though. Trish