Whatever you call this dish Pasta e Fagioli, Pasta and Beans or even Pasta Fazool it is a Hearty Italian Comfort soup/stew at it’s best. Filled with pasta and beans in a deliciously spiced Tomato broth. Make it thick like a stew or thinner like a soup.
Sometimes when I update recipes, as blogger we have to update them for google, meaning no long drawn out stories, which have nothing to do with the recipe, just good tips on how to make the recipe, usually I like to add a paragraph about the recipe, because I think my blogging circumstances are a bit different than most but with this post I decided to leave it mostly intact. It’s been almost 3 years since I posted this recipe.
Yesterday was a sad day for my the family, my father-in-law was buried. He passed away early Wednesday morning after being quite sick. I remember long ago days of tying up the vineyard. Just the three of us, the Italian, his father and me. He would tell us stories or more like horror stories of growing up during the war.
His family’s move from Northern Italy to Rome. He was a hard and sometimes hard to get along with man but he was very proud and loved his family dearly. And to be honest we didn’t always see eye to eye, we shared our differences to say the least, but I did respect him and of course thanks to him I married his awesome son. We did have a couple of things in common though. One being spaghetti! It was both our favourite type of pasta.
He preferred his spaghetti with his wife Maria’s homemade ricotta and I like mine with a Simple Tomato Sauce. But this was his absolute no doubt about it favourite dish. He would probably choose a bean dish over a meat dish every single time!
How to make the Best Pasta and Beans
In a large pot add the olive oil, chopped, garlic, onion, celery and carrots, cook until transparent.
Then add the vegetable broth, spices, puree and beans bring to a boil, cover and cook until the beans are tender. Stirring occasionally.
At this point you can blend 1/3-1/2 the ingredients or leave as is. Add more water, taste for salt, then bring the soup to a boil add the dry pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Serve immediately sprinkled with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Where did it originate
This recipe originated in Northern and Central Italy, it is made differently in each region.There are those that add pancetta or lardo, yes lard, 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. Loved by many Italians, including my father-in-law.
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. Which is how we love it and without adding cream! 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 the soup is cooking you get all the delicious ingredients cooking together, and trust me, the taste is amazing.
My mother-in-law would sometimes cook her pasta separately then add it to the pot once the beans were cooked, I like to make clean up easier so cooking the dried pasta with the beans is what I do and it works out perfectly.
More Italian Soups & Stews
So not only did I make this soup today in remembrance, but also knowing that this is a soup that truly is comforting. And what better way to be comforted then by a classic Italian Pasta e Fagioli soup. And don’t forget to serve it with a big slice of Italian crusty bread. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. RIP Antonio.
Pasta e Fagioli / Pasta and Beans
- 1 ¼ cups dried Borlotti beans* (soaked 8-12 hours in a bowl of water drained and rinsed) (225 grams)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- ½-1 onion chopped
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth** (1 litre)
- ¾ teaspoon oregano
- ¾ teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pinch or 2 of hot pepper flakes if desired
- ¾ cup tomato puree (passata) 170 grams)
- 2 cups water (480 grams)
- 1 ¼ cup dried pasta (small ditaloni, quadrucci etc) (250 grams)
*The cooked beans should equal about 2 ½ cups, if you use canned beans then be sure to drain them.
**Vegetable broth can be homemade or store bought.
- In a large pot add the olive oil, minced garlic, chopped onion, celery and carrots, cook until transparent.
- Then add the vegetable broth, spices, puree and beans bring to a boil, cover with a slight opening and continue to simmer over low/medium heat for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the beans are tender and the soup has thickened. Stirring occasionally.
- Once they are cooked and tender, then you can blend 1/3-1/2 the ingredients or leave as is. Add the water (taste for salt) and bring the soup to a boil then add the dry pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente. If you find it too thick then add a little more water or broth, too thin then add less water before adding the pasta. Serve immediately sprinkled with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Updated from January 26, 2018.