A warm bowl of Pasta Fagioli Soup, along with a side salad and Italian bread is one of my favorite weeknight meals. This hearty Italian style soup is basically made with cannellini beans, small-shaped pasta and stock. Ingredients that you most likely will find in your pantry.
Versions of Pasta Fagioli Soup
Did you know that Fagioli simply means beans in Italian? Subsequently, like many Italian-American dishes, you will find many different ways of preparing this soup. You likely have, also heard it called, Pasta Fazool.
Generally, the red version, somewhat more similar to minestrone, uses red cannellini or kidney beans and has a tomato-based broth. The white version is usually made by smashing a portion of the white cannellini beans and blending it with a chicken or veggie stock. Generally, both versions contain ground sausage or bits of pancetta.
My Pasta Fagioli Soup
The base starting flavor of my recipe for Pasta Fagioli soup is created with olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and a small diced jalapeno pepper. If you wish to make this vegetarian, you can omit adding meat and use veggie stock as well. However, I personally really like the flavor that comes with adding some type of pork to this version of Pasta Fagioli. So, I used diced pancetta because, I had some on hand. However, you can easily substitute with chopped bacon or Italian sausage. Just, remove the casing from the Italian sausage links.
Normally, I have some home-made chicken stock in my freezer. It comes in handy, when I want to make a soup, like this one. However, if you don’t have any homemade stock available, you can use a good quality low-sodium brand. After adding the stock, I also add diced or shredded carrots and a bit of diced tomato for added flavor and nutrition.
Once the veggies have softened, then I add the two cans of beans. I like to puree one can of white cannellini beans and stir into the soup; this will give the soup some thickness. As I said before, this soup has many recipe version. So, make it as thin or thick as you like. Using canned beans is a great time-saver. There is no need to rinse the canned beans, because the added starch will help thicken the soup. Nevertheless, if you prefer to use dry beans, just follow your normal preparation for the beans before adding to the soup.
You will need:
- 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 3-4 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1/8 tsp. crushed Red Pepper
- 1 small Jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 2-3 ounces, Pancetta, chopped
- 12 cups Chicken Stock
- 1-2 Bay Leaves
- a sprig or two of fresh Oregano
- 1/2 cup diced or shredded Carrots
- 1/2 cup finely diced cut Tomato
- Salt & Pepper
- Parmesan rind, optional
- 1 can Cannellini Beans, whole + 1 can Cannellini Beans, pureed.
- 1/2 lb. small-shaped Pasta, cooked.
Making Pasta Fagioli Soup
- In the first place, you will need a large soup pot.
- Over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and jalapeno, along with the pancetta.
- Saute for 5-6 minutes, then add the stock and bring up heat to medium-high.
- At that time, add the bay leaves, oregano, carrots and the diced tomato.
- Once, the soup has come to a boil, reduce heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, while letting it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Usually, I like to add the rind of a piece of Parmesan Cheese, while the soup is simmering.
- Finally, once the veggies are soft, stir in the pureed and the whole beans, while continuing to simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
- At this point, discard Parmesan rind, remove from heat and stir in cooked pasta.
Ladle soup into individual serving bowls and top with additional grated Parmesan, if desired. Enjoy!
Moppina and Wooden Spoon Kitchen Talk
- Pasta can be cooked directly in the soup. You will want to add it during the last 7-10 minutes of cooking.
- Pasta Fagioli can be made ahead of time and freezes well. However, I suggest that you do not add the pasta until you are ready to eat it.
- Pasta Fagioli is a hearty soup that pairs well with a lightly dressed green salad and some warm Italian bread, garlic rolls or Focaccia.
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