A bowl of steaming Pasta e Fagioli Soup with diced vegetables, beans, pasta, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup is a classic Italian dish with a name that literally translates to “pasta and beans”. It is a beloved rustic Italian soup that embodies simple ingredients and immense flavor. A staple for generations, this heartwarming dish offers a balance of protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and an abundance of nutrients – perfect for fueling your body and satisfying your soul. My rendition is packed with fresh vegetables, tender beans, and perfectly cooked pasta in a savory broth – a guilt-free indulgence that supports your health and dietary goals.


Yield: 6

Hearty & Healthy Pasta e Fagioli Soup

A bowl of steaming Pasta e Fagioli Soup with diced vegetables, beans, pasta, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

🍲 Craving cozy? This Pasta e Fagioli Soup is here for you! 😋 Packed with protein, fiber & flavor!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup ditalini pasta (or other small pasta shape)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
  • Freshly chopped parsley for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook for 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
  3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, cannellini beans, and kidney beans. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Stir in the pasta and cook according to package directions, or until al dente.
  5. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve hot with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 500mgCarbohydrates: 38gSugar: 5gProtein: 12g

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Cultural Background and Significance

Pasta e Fagioli holds a cherished place in Italian cuisine, originating as a peasant dish utilizing simple, affordable ingredients. Traditionally, families would make use of leftover pasta and beans to create this resourceful, nourishing soup. It stands as a testament to Italian ingenuity and the celebration of humble ingredients.


Health Benefits of Pasta e Fagioli Soup

  • Excellent source of protein and fiber
    The combination of beans and pasta provides ample protein and fiber, promoting satiety, aiding digestion, and helping manage blood sugar levels.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals
    The vegetables and beans offer vitamins A, C, K, folate, iron, potassium, and magnesium, essential for various bodily functions.
  • Supports heart health
    The fiber content helps lower cholesterol, while the potassium in the beans contributes to blood pressure regulation – both important factors in cardiovascular health.
  • Naturally low in fat
    This is a satisfying meal that won’t overload you with unhealthy fats.
  • Adaptable to dietary needs
    Easily made vegan by omitting Parmesan cheese and gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta.

Tips for a Perfect Cook

  • Aromatics are key
    Don’t skip the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic – they form the flavor foundation of this soup.
  • Taste as you go
    Adjust salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning throughout the cooking process for the best flavor balance.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta
    Add the pasta towards the end to ensure it’s al dente – it will continue to cook slightly in the hot broth.
  • Garnish for freshness
    Finish with Parmesan cheese (if desired) and fresh parsley for a touch of brightness.

Variations and Modifications

  • Spice it up
    Add a pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper for extra heat.
  • Greens boost
    Stir in chopped spinach or kale at the end of cooking for additional nutrients.
  • Protein variation
    Substitute some beans with cooked ground beef, sausage, or pancetta for a meaty version.
  • Fresh herbs
    Experiment with rosemary, thyme, or basil for a different flavor profile.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Underseasoning
    Don’t be afraid to season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Overcooking the vegetables
    Make sure the vegetables are softened but not mushy.
  • Boiling the pasta separately
    Cooking the pasta directly in the soup adds flavor and thickens the broth slightly.
  • Forgetting the garnishes
    A sprinkle of Parmesan and fresh herbs make a big difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use dried beans?

    Yes. Soak them overnight and cook them according to package instructions before adding them to the soup.

  • Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?

    Absolutely! Sauté the vegetables, then add everything except the pasta to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Add the pasta during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

  • How do I store leftovers?

    Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

  • Can I freeze Pasta e Fagioli?

    Yes, but freeze without the pasta. Cook the pasta fresh when reheating.

  • What other types of pasta can I use?

    Any small pasta shape like elbow macaroni, rotini, or shells will work.

  • Is this soup gluten-free?

    To keep this soup gluten-free, choose gluten-free pasta.

  • My soup is too thick. How can I thin it?

    Add a splash of extra broth or water.

  • My soup is too thin. How can I thicken it?

    Simmer for a few more minutes uncovered to reduce the liquid slightly.

  • How can I make this soup vegan?

    Skip the Parmesan cheese garnish or use a vegan Parmesan alternative.

  • What can I serve with Pasta e Fagioli?

    A crusty bread for dipping and a simple green salad.


Conclusion

This wholesome and comforting Pasta e Fagioli Soup is a classic for a reason. Easy to make, incredibly versatile, and deeply satisfying, it’s a recipe that deserves a permanent spot in your meal rotation. Try it tonight and experience the true essence of Italian comfort food – with a healthy twist!

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