As I look at the weather report and see how darn cold it is in my native country I realized that comfort season isn’t over yet for a large part of the world. And what better way to be comforted then by a classic Italian, Pasta e Fagioli Pasta and Beans.
Pasta e Fagioli Pasta and Beans, is one of those Italian dishes that is made differently in the regions where it originated and that is Central and Northern Italy.
There are those that add pancetta or lardo, yes lard, actually pig fat to be precise, it is sold in grocery stores and sometimes cut into very thin slices , usually eaten with a slice of bread and sometimes cooked.
Also considered extremely delicious, thanks very much, but I think I will stick to my pancetta!
Some regions cook the pasta with the beans, others cook the pasta separately. Some use Borlotti beans some Cannellini beans, some add tomatoes others do not. Some will even blend a portion of the beans to make a creamier soup.
Pasta e Fagioli Pasta and Beans
The Pasta e Fagioli I make for my family is one I learned from my mother-in-law and is therefore from the Central Region of Lazio.
Pretty basic and easy to make and really comforting and delicious. It’s best if you use dried beans and soak them over night. That way when they are cooking (which takes about 30 minutes) you have the delicious bean water, which gives this Pasta and Beans the best taste.
I also like to cook my pasta (just like she did) separately and then add it to the beans, that way nothing is mushy, just really yummy!
Another best served with a big slice of Italian crusty bread. Buon Appetito!
Pasta e Fagioli
- 1 1/4 cups dried Borlotti beans (soaked 8-12 hours in a bowl of water drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 cup cubed pancetta 75 grams
- 2 tablespoons olive oil 30 grams
- 1 clove of garlic chopped
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 1 or 2 carrots chopped
- 1 can cubed tomatoes or if you prefer you can substitute 1 cup of tomato puree , just tomatoes nothing added) 400 grams
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 3/4 teaspoon oregano 3/4 gram
- 3/4 teaspoon basil 3/4 gram
- pinch crushed bay leaf
- 1 teaspoons salt 5 1/2 grams
- pinch or 2 of hot pepper flakes if desired
- 2 cups vegetable broth 1/2 liter
- 1 cup bean water 1/4 liter
- 1 cup water 1/4 liter
- 1-2 cups cooked Ditaloni pasta depending how much pasta you like to add
In a large pot of water cook the beans until almost tender, approximately 20 minutes, do not throw out the water.
In a large pot add olive oil and over medium heat cook the pancetta until slightly golden add chopped garlic, onion, celery and carrot, continuing cooking for 1 or 2 minutes, then add tomatoes, rosemary, basil, oregano, crushed bay leaf, salt and hot pepper flakes, continue cooking and stirring occasionally for approximately 2 minutes, then add beans, broth , bean water and water.
Cover 3/4 and continue to simmer over low-medium heat for approximately 30-45 minutes. Taste for salt, add if needed.
In a medium pot of salted water cook the Ditaloni pasta until al dente, drain and add to the pot, simmer 2 minutes. Serve immediately. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!