Pasta e Fagioli, which is also known as Pasta Fazool, is a very traditional Italian dish.
It's a type of dish that your Nonna (grandmother) would make you, so it screams comfort food.
I was able to ask my Nonna for her tips which I’ve mixed with my own recipe to create the perfect meal!
Pasta e Fagioli translates to pasta and beans in Italian. It's similar to a minestrone soup with beans, vegetables, and pasta in a rich creamy sauce, what's not to love right?
You can think of it as a Pasta Soup 🙂
This recipe is also easily made Vegan too, just eliminate the parmesan cheese.
The best part is that it's all made in the one-pot which means easy cleanup. It's also made with kitchen staples most people have in their fridge and pantry, so it's a great meal to make when you haven't been shopping.
Ingredients to make Pasta e Fagioli
- Fagioli Beans are the star of the dish which are also known as Borlotti beans. You can also substitute with Cannellini beans or Red Kidney beans. I've used canned beans however you can also use dried beans that have been soaked and then cooked in an instant pot.
- Pasta, short pasta or pastina is generally used. I've used Orecheiette which I love as it scoops up the sauce like little buckets
- Onion, Carrots, Celery make up your soffritto which is the base of the soup
- Bay leaves bring a beautiful flavour especially when sauteed with the soffritto
- Garlic always make every dish taste better
- Nutmeg was my Nonna's tip to bring a lovely earthiness to it
- Potato is also one of Nonna's additions as it adds body and creaminess
- Tomato Paste is my preference over canned tomatoes, diced tomatoes or tomato sauce as its concentrated so it has a deeper flavour
- Vegetable Stock is what I've used to make it a vegan and vegetarian, however, if you prefer you can use chicken broth.
- Parmigiano Reggiano rind is an optional ingredient and can be eliminated to make the dish vegan friendly. Adding a small cube of the parmesan rind brings a beautiful aroma and a light cheesey depth to the sauce. Its then discarded before serving.
How to make Pasta e Fagioli
Time needed: 35 minutes.
- Prepare soffritto
Dice the onion, carrots and celery into tiny cubes to make a soffritto. Saute with olive oil in a pot over medium heat with bay leaves and a pinch of salt.
After a few minutes, add chopped garlic and mix together. Then add 3 tablespoons of concentrated tomato paste and saute for 3-5 minutes.
- Add stock and simmer
Pour in vegetable stock and water, season with salt and pepper.
Chop potato into small cubes and add to the pot along with nutmeg and simmer with the lid on for 10-15 minutes on medium heat.
- Reserve mixture and add pasta
When the vegetables are cooked, remove a cup of the mixture from the pot and reserve it on the side for now.
Add the pasta, a pinch of salt, and cook with the lid on.
- Make creamy sauce
Drain a can of beans and add about a quarter of the beans to the reserved mixture on the side. Once the mixture has cooled down, blend in a blender to create a creamy sauce.
When the pasta is halfway fully cooked, add the beans and the creamy sauce to the pot and cook together for a few minutes
Add to a bowl and top with some chopped parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Tips to make Pasta e Fagioli
- Ensure to chop the vegetables for the soffritto into tiny cubes similar in size so they all cook within the same time
- Always fry the tomato paste down before adding the stock. It brings out all its beautiful flavours and it will also eliminate any raw tomato taste
- I've noted in my recipe 2-3 cups of water. It's best to start with 2, and then add the 3rd cup if you find it needs it. Different pasta shapes absorb different amounts of water so you can judge if it needs more water.
- Remove the bay leaves and parmesan rind before serving into bowls
- Ensure to add the beans in at the end of the cooking process so they don't overcook or become mushy
Some recipes use pancetta and meat, however, I've made a vegetarian and vegan-friendly recipe
Yes, it's full of vegetables and a good source of protein and nutrients from the beans
Yes for up to 2 - 3 months. If freezing it's recommended to do so without pasta included as it will become soft when reheating. The vegetables would also become soft when reheating so if you know you want to freeze a batch, make sure to undercook the soup so that it will maintain a beautiful texture when you decide to reheat it in the future. Then you can boil some fresh pasta and add it to the soup.
More Pasta Recipes
Pasta e Fagioli
- 200 g short pasta (I’ve used Orecchiette)
- 1 can Fagioli beans / Borlotti beans (or you can use Cannellini beans or your preferred beans)
- 1 onion
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 medium celery sticks
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 potato
- 3 cups vegetable broth or stock
- 2-3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Parmesan cheese rind cube (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh herbs such as finely chopped parsley or basil leaves
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- Dice the onion, carrots and celery into tiny cubes to make a soffritto. Saute them in olive oil in a pot over medium heat with the bay leaves and a pinch of salt
- After a few minutes when they're starting to soften, add the chopped garlic and mix together. Then add 3 tablespoons of concentrated tomato paste and saute for 3-5 minutes to fry the sauce down. If required, add a dash of olive oil to help it saute
- Pour in the vegetable stock and water, season with salt and pepper
- Chop the potato into small cubes and add to the pot along with the nutmeg, a cube of parmesan rind (optional) and simmer with the lid on for 10-15 mintues on medium heat
- When the vegetables are cooked, remove a cup of the mixture from the pot and reserve it on the side for now
- Add the pasta, a pinch of salt and cook with the lid on (note you can add an extra cup of water at this time if the sauce has reduced too much or is too thick)
- While the pasta is cooking, drain the can of beans and add about a quarter of the beans to the reserved mixture on the side.Once the mixture has cooled down, blend it in a blender to create a creamy sauce
- When the pasta is halfway fully cooked, add the beans and the creamy sauce to the pot and allow it to cook together for a few minutes
- Serve your Pasta e Fagioli with a sprinkle of chopped parsley or basil leaves and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese