Pasta e Fagioli
Affordable Meals,  Easy,  Pasta,  Recipe

Pasta e Fagioli

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I’ve been making a vegetarian version of this savory Italian dish since before I fell in love with cooking. It was the one dish I made that never sucked, even my picky, must-have-meat father loved it. So even though I’m a much better cook now – I’ve never strayed from “old reliable”.

Until now!!

Here in the USA it’s usually the Italian-American version – a thick, tomato-based soup with beans and heavy pork flavor. I decided to investigate how they make it in old Italy (cue the cheesy tarantella). Of course then I was confronted with all the “authentic” Italian chefs and their “authentic” versions, so I gleaned all the pertinent info and put it to the test. The results were out of this world! Much lighter, creamier and with more bold and savory flavors, there’s a good chance that “old reliable” is getting put out to pasture. Not even kidding.

Kendo’s Pasta e Fagioli

Kendo’s Pasta e Fagioli
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: beans, cannellini, ditalini, easy, fun, savory, soup, traditional
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz packet of chopped prosciutto or 4 oz pancetta diced
  • 3 cans of cannelini beans divided – 2 cans in before immersion blender
  • 3 cups of broth
  • 3 cups of water
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 14 oz can of plum tomatoes crush with hands
  • 1 small sprig fresh rosemary minced or 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb box of small pasta like ditalini
  • grated cheese for topping pecorino romano or parmesan

Instructions

  • Rinse and drain 2 cans of cannellini beans. Put aside.
  • Begin heating up a large pot of salted cold water to cook pasta in, add a few drops of olive oil. Medium heat.
  • Heat up your large soup pot over medium heat. Add ¼ olive oil. Once it shimmers throw in you prosciutto/pancetta. When it browns a bit add the diced onion. Cook until onion is translucent, stir occasionally. Just before onions are done, sprinkle garlic on top of onion/pork and cook 1 minute. Add minced rosemary. Cook another minute.
  • Turn up heat for pasta water and bring to a boil.
  • Take 4-5 Italian canned tomatoes and crush them with your hands in a bowl and add to the soup pot.
  • Add 2 cans of rinsed beans and stir. Add 3 cups chicken broth & 3 cups water. Stir.
  • With immersion blender – blend the soup until most of the ingredients are pureed (or mash with fork/wooden spoon).
  • Rinse and drain the remaining can of cannellini beans; add to soup.
  • Turn up heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • In the other pot add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente – according to what it says on da box. Drain in colander and rinse pasta in cold water. If you are planning to have leftovers, drizzle a little olive oil over the drained pasta (once dry) and stir. 
  • Portion pasta into bowls and ladle soup over it. Grate cheese over soup and mix in. Crack some black pepper on there! Serve with crusty bread; salad makes a great side.

Notes

Leftovers last 3 days in the fridge in air tight containers. Oh, and it’s phenomenal when eaten cold. This soup freezes well – cool and then portion into freezable quart bags (freezes flat and takes up less room!) or containers. Label them with the date & contents – frozen soup lasts about 3 months. Note: many “authentic” cooks frown upon the use of tomato, broth and even onion. Whatever, dudes. Please enjoy!!

Music to cook by: John Patitucci “Now”

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