Pasta e Fagioli is an Italian Bean soup that uses cannellini beans, carrots, celery, chicken stock and onions for its flavor. The beans in this pasta fagioli recipe are pureed into the broth and added whole as well. This is the trick to making this a fagioli soup and not a vegetable soup.
There are many different variations of this soup and many use bacon or pancetta to flavor the broth. I often, as is traditional will not use any meat but sometimes I will add some diced pancetta for extra flavor.
I do however like the traditional way of adding flavor (with the garlic, carrots, and celery) and omitting the bacon because really, it tastes so amazing without it. This recipe is easy to make and so delicious.
The ingredients you will need for this pasta e fagioli are:
- cannellini beans
- chicken stock (good quality)
- Parmesan cheese
- Bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes (optional but highly recommended)
- diced tomatoes
- Parmesan rind
- Olive oil
- ditalini (or another small shape pasta)
As I mentioned above, some of the beans are going to be pureed and some added in whole into the soup. For this you will need a food processor or blender. The pureed beans will look like a hummus when they are finished pureeing.
Here are all the steps to make this pasta fagioli:
- puree half of your beans
- cut your and prepare your ingredients
- saute your vegetables
- add your stock, diced tomatoes, pureed beans and whole beans
- Add your spices and Parmesan rind
- let simmer
Simple right! It does not take much to throw this soup together at all.
Now, for me, no soup is complete without a good side of crusty bread. This pasta fagioli really loves a good side of bread to go along with it and my favorite one to make is this oregano crostini! The crostini is crunchy which is good for dipping and flavored with the oregano which compliments the flavors in the soup.
About the pasta in the pasta fagioli:
This is a pasta fagioli so we cannot forget the pasta part! When I make pasta for any soup, I never add it to the soup because the pasta will absorb all of the broth and get mushy. Yuk!
I make the pasta then drain it and pour olive oil over to prevent it from sticking to itself and then set it aside until I need it. When I am ready, I scoop some pasta into a soup bowl and then ladle the fagioli over top. This tip is helpful for any soup that calls for pasta in it.
Last fagioli tip!
If you were eating this fagioli at my house, you would hear me asking everyone if they heavily peppered their fagioli before eating it. Copius amounts of freshly ground black pepper is a must when eating this soup. It oesn’t work to add it to the soup while it is cooking, you need to grind some fresh black pepper over top of your bowl before eating.
Pasta fagioli is an economical and delicious meal that anyone can make. You can stock most of the ingredients for this recipe in your pantry so it is always a quick go-to meal when you are in a hurry but still want something that is delicious and healthy. I make this in Fall, Winter, and Spring for family and guests and everyone loves it.
Pasta e Fagioli
- 1 32 oz box of good quality chicken stock or if you have homemade even better
- 1- 15 oz can of cannellini beans for the puree, drained and rinsed
- 2- 15 oz cans of cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1- 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 5 medium sized carrots diced
- 2 celery spears diced
- 3 cloves of garlic finely diced
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- a pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated for serving
- 1 Parmesan rind if you save the rinds of your Parmesan that you save, then throw that into the soup. If you don't, then you can cut the rind off of the block of Parmesan you are using or you can just omit this step.
- 1/2 box of ditalini pasta 1/2 lb
- 2 tbsp olive oil for sauteeing
- 2 tbsp olive oil for puree
- 1 tbsp olive oil for drizzling over cooked pasta
- Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large pot over medium heat.
- Once pot is heated add onions, garlic, celery, carrots and red pepper flakes and saute for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent and carrots and celery are slightly softened.
- While the veggies are sauteeing, add one can of cannellini beans that have been drained and rinsed to a food processor (or blender) with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and puree until it is smooth. You may need to add water if the paste is too thick and not blending well. When done set aside.
- Now, add your chicken stock to the pot of sauteeing vegetables along with your pureed kidney beans and mix well. Add the rinsed cannellini beans, diced tomatoes, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, parmesan rind (if you have one to add) and salt and pepper to taste.
- Let simmer for about 30 minutes.
- In the meantime in another pot boil some water for your ditalini pasta. Cook the pasta per the box instructions.
- When the pasta is done strain it and add it to a bowl (not the soup) and add 1 tbsp of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking. Set aside NOTE: If you add the pasta to the soup it will absorb all the soup liquid and expand and eventually you'll be left with no broth.
- To serve, place a heaping spoonful of pasta in a soup bowl then add your Fagioli soup over top. Add a 1/4 of your freshly grated Parmesan cheese to each bowl. Discard the Parmesan rind and bay leaf before serving.
- Serve with some crusty garlic bread and lots of freshly grated black pepper!