Bowl of Pasta e Fagioli with fresh basil.
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Pasta e Fagioli

Classic White Bean Pasta e Fagioli, (pah-sta eh fazh-e-ohl-eh), a humble dish of pasta and beans. It's a traditional Italian soup with many variations, but its simplicity and affordability are a deception to the rich flavor it contains.

Category Soup
Cuisine Italian
Keyword easy soup recipe, Italian soup, Pasta e Fagioli
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 16 servings
Author Mean Green Chef

Ingredients

Soffritto

  • 1 large white onion, topped + peeled + chopped
  • 4 large carrots, scrubbed + peeled (if not organic) + diced
  • 4 stalks celery, scrubbed + diced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, sub butter
  • Kosher sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed + chopped
  • ½ Tablespoon oregano leaves, dried
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon basil, dried
  • ¾ teaspoon thyme, ground
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

Soup

  • 1 pound Italian Sausage, hot or sweet, casings removed
  • 1 can (28 ounces) San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 6 cups (48 ounces) homemade chicken stock, sub favorite brand
  • cups Cannellini or Navy beans soaked overnight, sub canned + rinsed
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind, optional but preferred
  • 2 large bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Blitz the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in a food processor in separate batches. Making sure they are as close to a ½-inch dice as possible. Heat a Dutch Oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium low heat, add the olive oil reheat for 30 seconds and then add the onions, carrots and celery and season generously with Kosher sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Cook stirring often with a flat bottomed wooden spoon, until the vegetables start to sweat out some of their liquid about 10 minutes. Keep in mind low and slow, we don't want color, we just want to soften the soffritto.

    Soffritto cooking for Pasta e Fagioli.
  2. Toss in the garlic, oregano, fennel seeds, basil, thyme, and red pepper flakes stir to combine, cover the pot and cook, stirring every 5 minutes (total of 20 minutes), until the vegetables are soft and savory. Reduce the heat if you notice the vegetables start to brown.

    Soffritto with added herbs and seasonings for Pasta e Fagioli.
  3. Turn up the heat to medium and add the sausage, breaking apart into bite sized pieces, and cook for 5 minutes.

    Sausage being added to Pasta e Fagioli.
  4. Now pour in the tomatoes, chicken stock, beans, and bring to a medium boil (not super aggressive) gently stirring and add Parmesan cheese rind and bay leaves. Reduce the heat back to medium-low for a gentle simmer. Cover the pot so the lid is slightly cracked and cook until the beans are very tender. Anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on if you used soaked or canned beans. Remove the Parmesan cheese rind after cooking is complete.

    Cooking Pasta e Fagioli in a Dutch Oven.
  5. While the soup cooks, bring a pot of heavily salted (Kosher sea salt) water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta till al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Don't be tempted to cook the pasta in the soup, unless you want a thick and gummy outcome! Cook them separately and save yourself the heartache of a ruined soup.

    Cook pasta till al dente.
  6. Divide pasta among bowls and top with soup, garnish with fresh grated Grana Padano, a drizzle of olive oil, fresh basil and Herbed Crackers or crusty bread for dipping if desired.

    Bowl of Pasta e Fagioli with fresh basil.

Recipe Notes