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Lola Cooks: Pasta e Fagioli

best pasta e fagioli recipe

Pasta e Fagioli is a classic Italian soup that should be in everyone’s recipe box. There are, of course, many variations on this theme. Some are better than others, but all have the basic ingredients at the base – beans, tomato, stock, pasta.

Many recipes you will read have a small amount of pancetta or prosciutto as the meat flavor in the soup. It is good that way, but I prefer to make mine with spicy sausage. You can use mild sausage if you find the spicy variety too robust. The small bits of meat add a peasant food quality to the dish that is hearty enough to make it a meal.

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best pasta e fagioli recipe

Before you start:

The “al dente” stage is elusive for many. Pasta should never be mushy. While many soups allow the pasta to sit in the broth, I like to add mine just before serving to ensure good texture.

This soup could be made with different beans if you prefer.

Serve this soup with a crusty bread to sop up all the goodness.

The ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup onion
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound sausage
  • ½ cup carrot
  • ¼ cup celery
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cans (15 oz) cannellini beans  or a mix of white and light kidney beans
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 quart chicken stock (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 ½ cups tubetti or ditalini  pasta
  • parmesan cheese
best pasta e fagioli recipe

The method:

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened.
  3. Add sausage and cook until browned, stirring often.
  4. Add carrot, celery, herbs,  beans, tomatoes, water, and stock.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Simmer with lid off for at least 45 min.
  7. Remove bay leaves.
  8. In a separate pot cook pasta to ‘just less than’ al dente stage.
  9. Drain pasta and toss with a  very small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  10. When ready to serve add pasta and top with a shaving of parmesan.


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