A Quick and Easy Italian Classic, this interpretation of Pasta e Fagioli delivers on flavour in under 30 minutes.
Interpretation of a Classic
Investigate the variety of recipes available online and you’ll notice an infinite amount for this classic Italian soup. Varieties include vegetarian or meat based broths, clear broth or thickened with bean paste, the addition of tomatoes or pancetta. At a quick glance, everyone’s Nonna has their own rendition of Pasta e Fagioli. What everyone does agree on is that this soup is absolute comfort food.
What is Pasta e Fagioli?
Pasta e Fagioli is Italian peasant comfort food at it’s finest. Sometimes it’s referred to as ‘Pasta fasule’ or ‘Pasta Fasola’ depending on the Italian region you are in or from. Both the consistency of the soup and ingredients also vary according to region and personal taste. However, the two most important ingredients in this comforting soup are always pasta and beans no matter where you are.
What Is Pasta e Fagioli Made Of?
The single most essential ingredient at the heart of this comforting soup is beans. Beans are a great source of fibre, minerals, and vitamins in addition to being cheap. There is no specific bean used in this classic soup. However, the most common ones are Cannellini, Borlotti, or Great Northern varieties. For pasta shapes, the only requirement is that the shape is small and suitable for soup. Other classic ingredients include olive oil, garlic, onions and sometimes celery, stewed tomatoes, or pancetta.
My Weeknight Inspiration
Weeknights are busy around here, as I’m sure they are in your home. This is a great ‘back pocket’ recipe to whip up whenever you need a quick and satisfying meal. The best part is, most of the ingredients are cheap and can come straight from your pantry. Got a can of beans? Check! Got macaroni? Check! You’re halfway there. For my interpretation, I had my husband pick up some double smoked bacon on the way home from work. I also had some frozen chicken stock and fresh herbs in the fridge. Since rosemary is my favourite herb, I added some to the soup while it was cooking and for a garnish. It really hit the spot!
Comforting Soups From Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen
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- Olive Oil
- 1/2 red onion; cut in strips
- 4 rashers double smoked bacon; chopped into bits
- 3 cloves garlic; minced
- 1 cup shredded or matchstick carrots
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 3-inch-long fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 cup small pasta shapes (O's or tubetti, even macaroni)
- 1 14 oz (398 ml) can cannellini (navy) beans
- salt and pepper
- Parmesan Reggiano to serve (optional)
- Add 1 tbsp Olive Oil to a medium soup pot and saute the onion for 2 minutes.
- Add the bacon and saute for another 2 minutes. Add garlic, then carrots. Saute for another 2 minutes.
- Add chicken stock all at once then add the rosemary. Bring to a boil.
- After the soup has been boiling for about 15 minutes, add pasta and stir intermittently.
- Add beans and season. Serve with Parmesan Reggiano if using.