Pasta e Fagioli {Pasta & Beans}

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With fall on our heels, well okay with the idea of fall on our heels here on the East Coast, I have comfort foods on my mind. I’m excited to be able to get back into the kitchen, cook up a storm, and not suffocate from the heat! I can’t think of a better way to start off the season than with Pasta e Fagioli (fa-gee-o-lee). Simply meaning Pasta & Beans. Hello, you don’t get more budget friendly than pasta & beans, no? And talk about hearty – just add a loaf of bread & you’re set.

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This is a dish that, depending on the region, will vary in consistency – from soup-like to stew-like to everything in between. If you like it more soupy just add more liquid, easy peasy! This is the way I was taught when I lived in Northern Italy so this is the way I make it. You also might be used to seeing it made with cannellini or cranberry beans. Again, use what you like. Also if you can’t find Ditalini pasta, any short pasta will do, elbow etc. Don’t worry I’m not going to write you up – tee hee! I do garnish mine with cheese {seriously are you surprised LOL}. I like Pecorino for this but will of course use Parmigiano as well.

What are you waiting for? Mangia!

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What you’ll need:
200g or 1 heaping cup of dry pinto beans
200g of Ditalini Pasta – I like Barilla
1 can of smalled peeled whole tomatoes (4-5 small-med tomatoes) Preferaby San Marzano Tomatoes
1 onion – minced
1 carrot – peeled & minced
1 rib celery – minced
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 clove garlic – minced
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
handful fresh parsley – minced
handful fresh basil – minced
salt
Pecorino Cheese – to garnish (optional)

What to do:
Cover your beans with at least 2″ of water & allow them to soak overnight or at least 8 hours before you plan on cooking. Drain & set aside prior to cooking. In a large stockpot add 2 tbsp of the oil, the onion, carrot, celery, drained beansĀ & tomatoes (I gently crush the tomatoes with my hand). Cover with water. Season well with salt and add the garlic & bouillon cube. Stir well. Cook over medium-high until it comes to a rolling boil. When it’s boiling cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove half of the mixture and blitz in your food processor. Return to pot. Stir well. Add hot water to pot if liquid level is low. Taste for seasoning & add salt if necessary. Add pasta & cook until pasta is al dente. At the end add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil & the herbs. Serve lukewarm. Garnish with Pecorino cheese if desired.

Buon Appetito!

Goes great with:
A fresh loaf of Italian Bread!

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44 Comments

  1. 1

    Excellent recipe. Flavourful, healthy, cheap ad very satisfying!

  2. 2

    Comfort food at its finest!

    • 2.1

      Thanks VeggieGirl ! I agree. It’s one of my favorite comfort foods!

  3. 3

    I am so ready for fall and all the great foods that come along with it. This looks great, maybe I will try it next week! yum :-)

  4. 4

    I love pasta and beans, very comforting! Pass the bread please.

    • 4.1

      Hi Marie! I anticipate I’ll be making this quite often in the next few months! Bread is coming ’round now! Get ready!

  5. 5
    Mary /

    Thanks for the friend request at the PW site! I am checking your site out and you got me at this recipe! I have always wanted to make this- I saw this on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. I am going to make soon! Perfect for autumn in Minnesota!

  6. 6
    Denise /

    I have been enjoying your site for a few days and all of your recipes look delicious.

    I have a question with the Pasta E fagioli.

    I see that you soak the beans overnight-but I don’t see where you
    cook the beans in the tomato mixture. Or are they already drained and in the stockpot?

    Looking forward to trying this recipe next week.

    • 6.1

      Hi Denise! Thanks so much! Yes, the beans are already drained and are put into the stockpot when you add the oil, celery, carrot, onion. etc. Let me know how it turns out for you!

  7. 7
    Denise /

    Thanks so much for your prompt response.

    Denise

  8. 8

    Ahh ditalini! A bunchful of childhood memories, of minestre in school halls…

  9. 9

    This looks fantastic and so easy to make.

  10. 10
    Mylynka /

    YUMMMMMMMMM!

  11. 11

    This shouts comfort food!

  12. 12

    Nice blog, great pictures, delicious recipes.

  13. 13

    I love pasta e fagioli… one of my favorites for the colder months! Yours looks fabulous, as always. :)

  14. 14

    This was one of the standard Friday Meals, passed down from my grandmother, that was served throughout my childhood.
    Delizioso!

  15. 15

    Looks great! As soon as we get out of the 80s here in Kentucky, this is on my list to make!

    • 15.1

      Thanks Mindy! I think I’m wishing Fall in here as well! It’s still hot but I’m pretending LOL!

  16. 16

    My husband is Italian (his mother is from Sicily) and loves this! It’s one thing I’ve never made but I will definitely give yours a try! Thanks so much!

    • 16.1

      Ciao Nancy! So glad you’re going to give it a whirl! I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!

  17. 17
    Jim /

    I made this for dinner last night and it was hearty, tasty and thoroughly satisfying. I made mine a little soupier and added some creme fraiche to give me something to dip my bread in.

    Thanks!

    • 17.1

      Ah, thanks Jim! What a great addition of the creme fraiche! I love sopping up all the extra goodness with some good bread (Italian of course LOL)

  18. 18
    dancing kitchen /

    Delicious…perfect with a nice glass of wine on a harvest moon sort of night.

  19. 19
    Denise /

    Paula:

    I made this today for dinner.

    It was delicious. Instead of the pinto beans I used dried cannelini
    beans. They took a long time to cook- about 4 hours but the dish was a big hit in our home.

    Thanks for your help and a delicious recipe.

    Denise

    • 19.1

      Ciao Denise! I’m so glad you decided to make this! I adore it. I love Cannelini beans & I’m sure it was dee-lish!

  20. 20
    Lynn /

    Hi Paula! Thanks for the friend request on on the PW site – brought me here and I’m going to make this tonight for dinner – anything budget friendly is welcome right now! And I think my kids will love it too. It also seems easy enough for my hubby to cook (I work alot of evenings as a banquet chef at a hotel/conference center).
    Looking forward to sharing reciipes and ideas with you!
    Thanks again
    Lynn

    • 20.1

      Thanks so much Lynn! So glad you’re going to give this a try! I hope you all love it!

  21. 21
    Chandra /

    My great-grandma made this for me when I was a little girl. When she was strapped for time,she would open a can of pork and beans and use those. I make this sometimes for myself just bring back the memories of her Italian kitchen.

  22. 22
    Gabriel /

    May I suggest adding a chestnut, shelled of course to the beans. It gives you the flavor of Naples… where the soup originated from.

    • 22.1
      Gabriel /

      A quick meal when I was in college, saute onions and garlic, add refried beans a chopped tomato and a spoon of peanut butter, added to pasta, classmates could not tell the difference. Use the water from the pasta to water down the beans.

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