A Bowlful of Comfort: Crafting the Perfect Pasta e Fagioli

Dive into the heart of Italian cuisine with a classic that warms the soul – Pasta e Fagioli. This hearty soup, a beloved staple in Italian households, seamlessly blends pasta and beans in a flavorful broth, creating a bowlful of comfort that transcends seasons. In this extensive guide, we’ll take you through the art of creating this timeless dish, ensuring your journey is not just culinary but a celebration of tradition and warmth.


Gather the essentials for your culinary voyage:

  • 1 cup dried small pasta (ditalini, elbows, or small shells)
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced pancetta or bacon
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


Step 1: Sauté Pancetta and Vegetables

  1. In a large pot, cook the diced pancetta or bacon over medium heat until it becomes crispy and renders its fat.
  2. Add chopped onions, carrots, and celery to the pot. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, and the onions are translucent.

Step 2: Add Garlic and Tomatoes

  1. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for about a minute until it becomes fragrant.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes to the pot, combining them well with the sautéed vegetables.

Step 3: Incorporate Beans and Broth

  1. Add both the cannellini and red kidney beans to the pot, followed by the dried oregano and basil.
  2. Pour in the vegetable or chicken broth, ensuring that the beans and vegetables are fully immersed.

Step 4: Simmer and Cook Pasta

  1. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. In a separate pot, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Just before serving, add the cooked pasta to the soup. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Step 5: Serve and Garnish

  1. Ladle the Pasta e Fagioli into bowls, and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.

Cook Notes

Elevate your Pasta e Fagioli to perfection with these notes:

  • Bean Variety: Experiment with different bean varieties, such as navy beans or great northern beans, for a unique twist.
  • Bacon Bliss: Swap pancetta for bacon or turkey bacon if you prefer a smokier flavor.
  • Broth Brilliance: Opt for homemade broth for a richer taste, or choose low-sodium store-bought broth if you’re watching your salt intake.


Spicy Kick

Infuse your soup with a hint of heat:

  • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the pot while simmering.

Green Goodness

Boost the nutritional content:

  • Include a handful of fresh spinach or kale leaves just before serving.

Tomato Lover’s Delight

Intensify the tomato flavor:

  • Stir in a tablespoon of tomato paste along with the crushed tomatoes.

Keto Versions

For those on a keto journey, modify the recipe with these adjustments:

  • Replace the pasta with cauliflower florets or shirataki noodles to reduce the carb content.
  • Increase the amount of pancetta or bacon for added fats.

Low Carb Versions

Choose a lower-carb path with these adaptations:

  • Opt for low-carb beans like black soybeans or chickpeas in moderation.
  • Reduce the quantity of carrots to minimize carb intake.

As we conclude this culinary exploration, Pasta e Fagioli stands tall as a testament to the heartwarming simplicity of Italian cooking. From the savory notes of pancetta to the satisfying blend of beans and pasta, every spoonful tells a story of comfort and tradition.

Whether you’re seeking a bowl of warmth on a chilly evening or a dish that transcends cultural boundaries, Pasta e Fagioli is a timeless choice. Embrace the variations to tailor the recipe to your taste buds or dietary preferences, ensuring that this classic soup becomes a cherished staple in your culinary repertoire.

So, gather your ingredients, let the aromas fill your kitchen, and savor the richness of Pasta e Fagioli – a bowlful of comfort that transcends time and place. Buon Appetito!

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