Looking for easy comfort food to serve for supper tonight? You can be enjoying a steaming bowl of this hearty pasta e fagioli soup in just over an hour, so it's perfect for a weeknight meal!
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Fagioli is a traditional Italian soup that is made of beans and other inexpensive ingredients like onions and pasta.
It started as a peasant dish in the Northern and Central regions of Italy, but it's very popular throughout Italy because it's delicious and timeless. Americans would call it comfort food or soul food.
In English, the Italian name is pronounced PAH-stah eh fah-JOL-ee.
The ingredients for our pasta e fagioli soup are easy to find at your local grocery store. Let's talk about some of the key ingredients.
- Meat: We used spicy Italian sausage.
- Aromatics: We used yellow onion and fresh garlic.
- Spices: We used rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, black pepper, fresh parsley, and fresh basil.
- Canned Goods: We used tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, red kidney beans, and cannellini beans.
- Dairy: We used butter and Parmesan cheese.
How to Make
Gather all your ingredients to make fagioli soup. Take the sausage out of its casing. Chop the onions and mince the garlic.
Grate the cheese and cut the rind into 16 cubes. Rinse the beans, and chop up the fresh parsley and basil.
- In a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, melt the butter and heat up the olive oil until it shimmers. Cook the Italian sausage until it is brown. Drain the meat on a paper towel-lined plate, and pour the rendered fat into a small bowl.
- In two tablespoons of rendered fat, saute the onions until soft and the garlic is fragrant. Add the thyme, oregano, and rosemary and cook for a minute until the spices bloom.
3. Pour in ½ cup of white wine to deglaze the pan. Use a wooden turner to scrape the delicious fond off the bottom.
4. Cook the tomato paste for 1 minute, then pour in the crushed tomatoes with their juices, the chicken broth, beans, cooked sausage, two bay leaves, and the cubed Parmesan rind. Add the salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir until well combined.
5. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the two bay leaves.
6. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, stir in the chopped fresh parsley and basil. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
7. While it is simmering, cook the pasta to al dente. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Allow to drip dry. Transfer to a bowl and toss with olive oil.
8. It's all done. Now, you just need to garnish it. This fagioli soup is one of those soups that tastes even better the next day, so make sure to keep some leftovers.
Enjoy a hot bowl of pasta e fagioli soup. Serve over cooked pasta and garnish with more basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
If you translate it from Italian, it means pasta and beans.
No, they are quite different in ingredients and flavor. The main difference between these two popular Italian soups is minestrone has lots of different vegetables, fewer beans, and no meat. Pasta e fagioli soup sticks to onion, leek, garlic, or celery for vegetables, contains lots of beans and may have pork in it.
A one-cup serving of our pasta e fagioli contains 487 calories and provides 23 g of protein and 9 g of fiber making it a good source of these nutrients. It is also a good source of potassium, calcium, and iron. For more about the nutritional value of this recipe, check the nutrition facts at the end of the recipe.
They are the same dish! It's all about pronunciation. The term pasta fazool is typically how the phrase sounds when pasta e fasule (the Neopolitano spelling and pronunciation) is spoken by the dialect of Italian commonly used in New York.
- Want other beans? Try borlotti, cranberry beans, or pinto beans.
- Don't want stock? Use the bean water or filtered water.
- Want this vegetarian? Omit the sausage and broth. Use filtered water or bean water.
- Need this vegan? Omit the butter, sausage, broth, and cheese. Use filtered water or bean water.
- Want other vegetables? Try celery and leeks.
- Want a different type of meat? Try pancetta, salt pork, or bacon.
- Don't want tomatoes? Omit the tomatoes and the tomato paste.
- Want this creamy? Puree all, half, or one cup of the beans. This will also thicken the soup.
- Want a different cheese? Try Pecorino.
- Want a different garnish? Try a sage leaf, drizzle of olive oil, or homemade croutons.
- Want to use dried beans? Use the overnight or quick soak method.
- This soup should not be brothy. Make it thick, like a stew.
- Keep the soup mostly beans with a little bit of pasta.
- Keep cooked pasta separate, and add it to individual bowls just before serving.
- Need to make this ahead? It actually tastes better the second day, so go for it!
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Pasta e Fagioli Soup
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 16 ounces spicy Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons fat rendered from the sausage
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 4 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
- 2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes with juice
- 1 Parmesan rind, cut into 16 cubes
- 4 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 15- ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 15- ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup ditalini, uncooked
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, for garnish
- Add the butter and oil to a Dutch oven set over medium high heat and heat until shimmering. Dump the Italian sausage into the Dutch oven and cook until no longer pink, breaking it into smaller pieces with a metal spatula. Drain the meat well in a colander, reserving the fat in a bowl.
- Pour two tablespoons of the rendered fat into the pot and heat over medium heat. Saute the chopped onion for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the rosemary, oregano, and thyme and cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine to remove the brown fond from the pan. Add the tomato paste and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes with their juices and the chicken broth. Mix in the cannellini and kidney beans, cooked sausage, parmesan rind, bay leaves, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, mix in the chopped fresh parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
- While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta in salted boiling water. Undercook it by 3 minutes so it's al dente. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water, and allow to drip dry. Transfer to bowl and toss with olive oil to coat.
- Remove the soup from the heat and take out the two bay leaves. Let the soup rest for a few minutes.
- To serve fagioli, add some pasta at the bottom of each bowl then ladle the hot soup on top. Garnish with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese and a few fresh basil leaves. Serve your bowl of herty fagioil with a crusty bread like our rosemary focaccia.
- Cook the Italian sausage in olive oil and butter over medium-high heat until it's brown. Drain well, then add to the crock pot.
- Sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat until soft, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the oregano, thyme, and rosemary and cook for one minute for the spices to bloom. Deglaze the pan with white wine to remove the fond. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Dump the onion, garlic, and tomato paste mixture into the crock pot.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaves, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to the crock pot. Stir and cover.
- Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
- Twenty minutes before serving, cook the pasta to al dente and keep it separate. Just before serving, stir the fresh parsley into the soup.
- Place the pasta in individual bowls, ladle the hot fagioli soup over the pasta, and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
- Use the overnight or quick soak method if you want to use dried beans.
- Make fagioli soup thick, like a stew.
- Keep this mostly beans with a little bit of pasta.
- Add the cooked pasta to individual bowls just before serving.
- This actually tastes better the second day, so feel free to make it ahead!
Our pasta e fagioli soup recipe was originally published on March 29, 2019.