I love to flip through cooking magazines and books for inspiration. In this month’s issue of Cook’s Country, the Pasta e Fagioli soup recipe caught my eye. Their recipes often tend to be a bit fussy, but this one is surprisingly straight forward and I didn’t need to make many adjustments to meet my taste and cooking style. The ingredients are very basic, which is likely the reason the soup is so popular. Despite its deep, rich flavors, Pasta e Fagioli is budget friendly and doesn’t require advanced cooking skills. Just a bit of dicing and everything goes into one pot. Thick enough to be considered a stew, I serve Pasta e Fagioli as a hearty lunch or for dinner with some fresh rolls for dunking.
If you saw or read the Cook’s Country Pasta e Fagioli recipe, you’ll love this version. In the recipe below I made very few changes from the original, just adjustments for flavor. I did have a couple of easy substitutions for items my local grocery didn’t carry. I switched out great northern beans for cannellini beans, which are very similar. I have also used bacon, or even summer sausage, in place of pancetta with equally good results. A step they use for better texture is pureeing one can of beans with water. It does make the soup creamier, but is not necessary if you want to keep the process simple. In fact, I often skip it and just mash the beans a bit with my spoon while cooking. The soup is best served right away. You may need to add a bit of water if storing and reheating later.
Pasta e Fagiloi Ingredients
2 15oz cans cannellini beans (or great northern beans), rinsed and drained
1 cup water
1 medium to large yellow onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
2 oz pancetta, diced (can substitute with bacon or other cured pork)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups (32oz) chicken broth
1 cup (4oz) ditalini pasta
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Pasta e Fagioli Recipe Instructions
- Puree 1 can of beans with 1 cup of water in food processor and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat
- Add carrots, celery, onion, and pancetta to pot with a pinch of salt and cook until softened (approx. 10 minutes)
- Add tomato paste and garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes
- Add chicken broth and all beans to pot. bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 10 minutes.
- Return soup to a boil, then add pasta and cook 12 minutes or until pasta is tender.
- Remove pot from heat. Add grated Parmesan and fresh herbs. Serve with fresh bread.
Look for more delicious soup recipes? Try our Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana!