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5 from 32 votes

Pasta e Fagioli Recipe

You're going to love my Pasta Fagioli, loaded with ditalini pasta, cannellini beans, pancetta, vegetables and a deliciously flavorful tomato broth this soup is the perfect addition to any dinner table!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian, Italian - American
Servings: 8
Calories: 530kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces pancetta diced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 carrots peeled - small dice
  • 4 stalks celery small dice
  • 1 small onion small diced
  • 1 large leek rinsed - small dice(white and light green sections only)
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves only
  • 28 oz peeled whole tomatoes I use San Marzano
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp sea salt to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • ½ pound ditalini pasta cooked
  • 1 head rainbow chard or your favorite green, cut into small ribbons. Reserve some for the garnish
  • 1 cup Romano cheese more to serve with soup

Instructions

  • over medium heat. Heat the olive oil and sauté the pancetta until golden brown. Remove and place in a paper towel-lined plate to soak up the excess grease. Reserve.
  • Add the onion, leek, carrot, and celery, sautéing until softened, about 5 minutes. Then, stir in the minced garlic and cook for a minute or two, or until fragrant.
  • Add the pancetta back into the pot.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Add the beans and pasta to the soup and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the thinly sliced chard (or greens of your choice) and Romano cheese to the soup and simmer for 10 minutes.
    *Reserve some of the chard for a garnish.
  • Garnish with chard ribbons, grated Romano cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

I use whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes (crushing them by hand or with an immersion blender) for all my cooking, but you can substitute your favorite crushed tomatoes, or even tomato sauce (not pasta sauce).
*If you’re not a fan of heat, leave out the red pepper flakes.

CAN I ADD MEAT TO PASTA FAGIOLI?

Yes, you can. The Olive Garden version has meat in it. You can use ground beef, ground turkey, sweet, or spicy sausage in your soup.
Bacon can also be substituted for the pancetta.
*If you want to keep the soup vegetarian substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth and leave out the pancetta.
*If you aren’t going to use all the soup at one setting, or intend to freeze some of the soup, DO NOT ADD all the pasta to the pot. Instead, place the pasta in the serving bowls and ladle the very hot soup over it.
This soup will not freeze well with the pasta added.
 
Do I have to use Cannellini Beans in Pasta Fagioli?
No, you don’t. Cannellini or Borlotti Beans are the usual choices for pasta Fagioli, but you can use great northern beans or garbanzo beans (which makes it pasta e ceci), navy beans and even pinto beans.
Do I have to add tomatoes to Pasta e Fagioli?
No, you don’t. Different regions make this classic Italian soup differently. Some recipes don’t call for tomatoes. Just add extra broth to make up for the tomatoes.
What type of pasta should I use to make Paste Fagioli?
Ditalini is the preferred pasta for this Italian soup, but you can use any small pasta shape such as Tubetti, Anelli, small macaroni, or small shells can be used as a substitute.

Nutrition

Calories: 530kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 3348mg | Potassium: 3101mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 8077IU | Vitamin C: 149mg | Calcium: 640mg | Iron: 16mg