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Authentic Pasta Fagioli Recipe (Bean Soup Pasta)

Authentic pasta fagioli recipe(called pasta fazool or pasta e fasule) is a warm and hearty first course.

A great classic of Italian cuisine that has its roots in the poor peasant tradition.

pasta e fagioli classic italian soup

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One of the best things about pasta e fagioli is that it is prepared with basic ingredients you ALWAYS have in your pantry.

Beans, pasta, oil, tomato puree and a few small vegetables to make a soffritto.

Easier than easy!

Then everyone can customize it as they like: some people put sausage in it, some omit the tomato, some prefer it in a broth and some prefer it drier.

I like it creamy, not brothy, not dry – somewhere in between!

What Are The Ingredients For Pasta Fagioli?

Beans

I use borlotti beans (also known as cranberry beans) as one of the main ingredients;

The classic recipe, on the other hand, calls for the use of dried bean.

For this recipe I used canned ones, but you can use fresh ones, which will be soaked the night before to let them rehydrate in water with a little baking soda and cooked for about two hours the next day.

Best Beans to use for Pasta Fagioli Soup:

Pasta

The second key ingredient is pasta and its cooking: I prefer short pasta; I used conghiglie (small shells).

The pasta is cooked together with the beans.

In this way the starch released by the pasta binds to the legumes that will slowly break down; resulting in the classic creamy, enveloping, incredibly tasty pasta e fagioli!

Vegetables

And the last ingredients, but not least, of this easy pasta e fagioli are the vegetables necessary to make it complete and delicious.

As far as I am concerned, simplicity wins: celery, carrot and onion, the classic Italian soffritto

Also very commonly used is garlic clove to add flavor, but in my family we never added it.

Spices

I prepare this recipe as my mom makes it, salt, black pepper and basil.

Other spices that go well with this pasta are fresh rosemary which gives a delicious flavor and red pepper flakes if you love a touch of spicy.

Tomato sauce

I used a little bit of tomato puree (passata) to give color and because I love flavorful tomato broth.

You can also use tomato paste, but many people make pasta e fagioli without tomato. 

Broth

Chicken broth or chicken stock, vegetable broth or vegetable stock can be used for this recipe, it’s your choice.

How to make Authentic Italian Pasta e Fagioli Recipe

Step 1

Prepare the soffritto. Carrot, celery and onion should be cut into small cubes.

soffritto for pasta e fagioli

If you use canned beans, wash them well under running water, but if you use dried ones, soak them the night before in cold water with a tiny bit of bicarbonate (baking soda). Then the next morning cook them for a minimum of two hours.

beans drained and washed under running water

Step 2

In a large pot with some olive oil begin to wilt the soffritto over medium-low heat. Set aside half of the beans. 

When the soffritto is well cooked, add the beans, tomato puree and two cups of broth.

Let simmer for about 10 minutes at medium heat and then blend everything with an immersion blender to create a creamy beans soup (optional).

immersion blenderthe soup

Step 3

Add the other half of the beans and two more cups of broth and let cook for 15 minutes minimum.

Add black pepper and some salt if needed.

Step 4

Now it is time to add the pasta, which we are going to cook directly with the beans.

Follow the cooking times given in the pasta package.

Stir frequently with a wooden spoon and add more broth if needed.

add pasta to the soup

Step 5

When the pasta is cooked al dente, you can serve this classic Italian soup with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan or pecorino cheese. 

authentic pasta fagioli recipe

Tips for Making Pasta Fagioli:

  • Never salt legumes at the beginning of cooking, but only at the end: this will keep the skin intact and tender.
  • If you are not eating the sauce right away, do not add the pasta because it will swell and eventually become mushy and very soft. 
  • For a dish with a creamy, enveloping texture, I blend some of the beans before adding the pasta, but if you prefer a more liquid dish with chunks you can skip this step.
  • Essential, in order to achieve a creamy and flavorful pasta e fagioli, is a good sprinkling of parmesan cheese. It gives a crazy creaminess, but most of all, an incredible flavor.
  • If you have parmesan rind then add it while cooking, it will make your sauce even more delicious.

Storing and Reheating

Reheating: Just add 1 – 2 tablespoons of water and a drizzle of oil to the pot, stir over low heat, and immediately the sauce will come to life.

Serve it hot, maybe even with crusty bread and bread croutons

Store: You can store your pasta and beans in the refrigerator in a airtight container for up to 1 day – the pasta will lose its al dente characteristic and inevitably turn out softer.

Freezing: I do not recommend freezing your pasta and beans.

You can freeze the soup without pasta, and then add the pasta when you want to eat it.

FAQ’s

Is pasta fagioli the same as minestrone?

As an Italian, the answer is no!
Both are Italian soups, and in pasta e fagioli the main ingredients are soffritto, beans and pasta. Minestrone is full of different vegetables that can change with the season; there are no rules or classic recipes (every Italian home pretty much has its own recipe).

Why are beans so healthy?

Beans are rich in dietary fiber,vitamins,minerals and protein.
They can also help meet daily protein needs. It has been shown that legumes are also a prebiotic food, a source of nutrition for beneficial bacteria living in the gut.
Studies have confirmed that regular consumption of beans helps reduce cholesterol and many other benefits.

Can I make this pasta and beans in advance?

Yes and no! I recommend preparing the soup in advance but without the addition of the pasta. 

Can You Freeze Pasta Fagioli?

You can freeze the bean soup. I do not recommend freezing it with pasta, which would lose its al dente texture. 

Is pasta fagioli vegan?

It depends on the ingredients you’re going to use. Use vegetable broth and a vegan cheese for your vegan version.

Does pasta fagioli contain meat?

Many people add bacon or Italian sausage to give extra flavor. But my recipe is without any added meat.

Authentic Pasta Fagioli Recipe

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authentic pasta fagioli recipe
Yield: 4 portions

Traditional Italian Pasta Fagioli Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This authentic pasta fagioli recipe is the perfect combination of comforting, delicious flavors. With a savory blend of vegetable broth, tomatoes, beans, and pasta, this family favorite is sure to be a hit with everyone at the dinner table.

Ingredients

  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 stick of Celery
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 3 Basil leaves
  • 15 oz Beans (400g)
  • 3-1/2 oz Tomato pulp
  • 5 oz short Pasta
  • 4 cup Broth (vegetable, chicken, meat)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Start by preparing the soffritto: finely chop onion, carrot and celery.
  2. If using canned beans, wash them under running water.
  3. If using dried beans, soak them the night before for about 12 hours in a pot with water and a pinch of bicarbonate, then cook them, minimum two hours the next morning, and then proceed with the pasta and beans recipe. If using fresh beans: purchased still in their pods, fresh beans, once shelled, must be preboiled for about 30 minutes.
  4. In a high-sided pot, add the olive oil and and cook the soffritto with the addition of the basil, over medium low heat, until the onion becomes transparent.
  5. Add half the beans, tomato puree and two cups of broth. 
  6. And cook for about 10 minutes. Move the pot from the heat and with an immersion blender give it a gentle blend.
  7. Return the pot to the heat, add the remaining beans and the remaining 2 cups of broth. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, adding black pepper and salt if needed.
  8. Add the pasta directly to the bean soup, and cook as directed in the pasta package. Stir often so that the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pot, and add more broth if you see that it is getting too dry.
  9. When the pasta is al dente, the pasta and beans is ready. Serve piping hot with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese on top.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 870mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 6gSugar: 14gProtein: 14g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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