I'm confident in describing this Pasta e Fagioli recipe as comfort in a bowl - it truly fits the bill. This traditional Italian soup is a tasty, hearty soup that will fill you up when you need a big dose of wholesome goodness.
The classic Italian soup is filled with beautiful borlotti beans, al dente pasta, and Italian seasoning and bay leaves. It is the ultimate comfort food because it is not only incredibly warming and delicious, it's also full of nutritious and fibre-filled vegetables and beans, making it the perfect meal.
This heartwarming dish is a delightful medley of pasta, beans, and aromatic vegetables, simmered together to create a flavorful and satisfying meal. Whether you're a seasoned home cook or a kitchen newbie, this recipe is sure to be a hit. So grab your apron and let's dive into the world of Pasta e Fagioli!
As a traditional peasant dish, it also uses inexpensive ingredients, so it's perfect for when you're looking for dinner on a budget.
Ingredients you'll need to make this Pasta e Fagioli Recipe
To make this hearty Italian soup you'll need:
- 1 Brown onion (diced)
- 40 ml Olive oil
- 400 g Cherry tomatoes (canned)
- 400 g Borlotti beans (canned beans). If you are very organised you can use dried beans, and many believe this gives a superior texture.
- ½ bunch Fresh Parsley
- ¼ bunch Celery
- 4 cups Vegetable broth (vegetable stock) or you can also use chicken stock, a low sodium chicken broth or beef broth if you prefer.
- 200 g Ditalini pasta (or any small pasta shapes) - ditalini pasta has that distinct shape of little tubes, that is perfect in a more soupy dish like this.
- 20 g Parmesan cheese (block)
- 1 Parmesan cheese rind (optional but oh-so-delicious)
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Lemon
- 1 ½ teaspoon Salt and pepper
- 2 Bay leaves
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 45 g Tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg (ground)
- 2 teaspoon Oregano (dried leaves)
See the full details in the recipe card.
Substitutions and Add-ins
There are so many variations you can make with this versatile and hearty soup.
- Beans - As this is a bean soup, there are lots of different options when it comes to beans. I used borlotti beans, but you can use different types of beans in this pasta and bean soup, for example, you could use cannellini beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, navy beans, tender white beans or even chickpeas to make pasta e ceci (pasta and chickpeas).
- If you want to add meat, you can add Italian sausage to the soup base.
- This is a great way to use up leftover vegetables, so use any vegetables you have in your crisper.
- For a little heat, add red pepper flakes with the garlic and tomato paste.
- Option to serve with crusty bread.
How to make Pasta e Fagioli
- Begin by finely dicing the onion, celery, and carrot. Set aside the celery fronds for later.
- Heat up a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat and add olive oil. Sauté the diced onion, celery, and carrot until the onion turns translucent.
- Stir in the tomato paste and minced garlic. Let this aromatic combo cook for 2-3 minutes until it becomes fragrant and your kitchen smells heavenly.
- Now it's time to introduce the canned cherry tomatoes, vegetable stock, water, bay leaves, ground nutmeg, oregano, salt, and pepper to the pot. This will make a tomato sauce is the base to this soup. For a bonus burst of flavor, drop in a parmesan rind if you have one hanging around in your fridge or freezer. Let the mixture simmer, giving your home that "just like an Italian kitchen" aroma.
- Scoop a cup of the soup along with a quarter of the beans into a blender, or use an immersion blender, and blend until smooth. Pour this back into the pot and add the pasta. Cook it all up for about 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente and utterly delightful. Make sure to stir the pasta every so often or it will get stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- As the pasta cooks, chop up the parsley, celery fronds, and juice that lemon.
- When the pasta's done, add in the remaining beans, half of the parsley and celery fronds, the lemon juice, and give it all a good stir. Your soup is now packing that delicious punch of flavors!
- When you're ready to serve, drizzle a little olive oil, sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese, a dash of salt and pepper, and don't forget to crown it with the remaining parsley and celery.
This Pasta e Fagioli is more than just a soup; it's a hug in a bowl! It's perfect for chilly days, cozy nights, and anytime you're in the mood for a hearty Italian meal. Pair it with some crusty bread for dipping, and you've got a meal that's fit for kings and queens.
Pasta e Fagioli vs Pasta Fazool?
Pasta e Fagioli means pasta and beans, but it is sometimes called Pasta Fazool in North America, after its Neapolitan name, Pasta Fasul.
Storage of Pasta e Fagioli
Got leftovers? Lucky you! This soup actually gets better the next day as the flavors meld and dance together even more. Store it in an airtight container and pop it in the fridge for a quick and delicious meal on the go.
Top tip when cooking this Pasta e Fagioli recipe
Use your tomato paste wisely: Cooking the tomato paste with garlic intensifies its flavor and richness. Don't rush this step; let it cook for a few minutes until it darkens slightly.
- This is a perfect meal for kids as well as adults. If your child has an aversion to parsley you can always skip it. Also go a bit lighter on the cracked black pepper.
You will need a deep casserole pot, a stovetop, a blender.
More Comforting Pasta Recipes
Pasta e Fagioli
- Deep casserole pot
- 1 brown onion
- ¼ bunch celery
- 1 carrot
- 4 clove garlic
- 400 g borlotti beans
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoon tomato paste
- 400 g cherry tomatoes canned
- 4 cups vegetable stock 1000 ml
- 1 cup water 250 ml
- 2 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
- 200 g ditalini pasta or any short pasta
- ½ bunch parsley
- 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 20 g parmesan cheese block
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper
- Finely dice onion, celery and carrot. Reserve celery fronds and set aside. Mince garlic. Drain borlotti beans and set aside.1 brown onion, ¼ bunch celery, 1 carrot, 4 clove garlic, 400 g borlotti beans
- Add oil to a deep casserole pot on medium heat and sauté onion, celery and carrot until onion is transluscent. Add tomato paste and garlic, and cook until fragrant (2-3 mins).1 brown onion, ¼ bunch celery, 1 carrot, 2 tablespoon olive oil, 3 tablespoon tomato paste, 4 clove garlic
- Add canned cherry tomatoes, vegetable stock, water, bay leaves, ground nutmeg, oregano, salt and pepper. If you have a parmesan rind in your fridge or freezer pop that in too (optional). Bring to a simmer.400 g cherry tomatoes, 4 cups vegetable stock, 1 cup water, 2 bay leaf, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
- Use a ladle to spoon a cup of soup into a blender and blend with ¼ of the beans. Return to the casserole pot, add pasta and cook for 10 mins.200 g ditalini pasta
- Roughly chop parsley and celery fronds. Juice lemon. Once 10 mins is up, add remaining beans, lemon juice and mix through.½ bunch parsley, 1 lemon
- Serve kids plain soup and grated parmesan. For adults, mix through half the parsley and celery, then serve with olive oil, grated parmesan, salt and pepper. Top with remaining parsley and celery.2 teaspoon olive oil, 20 g parmesan cheese, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper