Recipes

Italian Pasta and Beans (Pasta e Fagioli)

The Italians have blessed us with a plethora of delectable delicacies. Of course, I’ve always loved pizza and spaghetti, but it was only recently that I found pasta with beans.

Pasta and beans are transformed into a hearty meal-in-a-bowl with the addition of aromatics, crushed tomatoes, fresh parsley, and Tuscan kale. I can’t claim that this recipe is 100% authentic, but it’s the best I can come up with.

Pasta e Fagioli translates to “pasta and beans” in Italian, but this recipe is so much more! This filling vegetarian stew is bursting with delectable fresh flavor.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked beans
  • 2 carrots,
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (15 ounces)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ¾ tsp salt,
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes,
  • 1 cup small shell pasta
  • 2 cups chopped Tuscan kale
  • ¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Optional garnishes:

  • Additional chopped parsley,
  • black pepper,
  • grated Parmesan cheese,

 

Instructions:

  1. Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, as well as 12 teaspoons of salt and around 10 twists of black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 6 to 10 minutes, or until the veggies have softened and the onions have turned translucent.
  2. Cook, stirring regularly, until the garlic is aromatic, about 30 seconds. Cook, stirring constantly until the tomatoes are boiling all over. In a large mixing bowl, mix the broth, oregano, water, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer by increasing the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes, lowering the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
  4. Transfer about 12 cups of the soup to a blender (without the bay leaves) using a heat-safe measuring cup. Add approximately a third of a cup of drained beans. Close the lid tightly and mix until fully smooth, being cautious not to allow hot steam to escape through the lid. Reintroduce the combined ingredients to the soup.
  5. To the simmering soup, add the remaining beans, pasta, kale, and parsley. Cook for another 20 minutes, or until the pasta and greens are pleasantly soft, stirring frequently to avoid the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Remove and discard the bay leaves after removing the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the remaining 14 teaspoon salt, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and the lemon juice. Season with extra salt and pepper as needed until the flavors are vibrant. Serve soup in dishes with preferred garnishes.

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