Pasta e Fagioli

comments (11) January 8th, 2010

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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pasta e fagioli is great with homemade bread and a little grated parmesan
dried white beans and dried pasta are the basics for this hearty soup--you can use fresh or dried sage
i like to cut the sage leaves into chiffonade (little ribbons) for this dish
pasta e fagioli is great with homemade bread and a little grated parmesanClick To Enlarge

pasta e fagioli is great with homemade bread and a little grated parmesan

Photo: Susan Belsinger. Click on the photos at left to enlarge them.

1-1/2 pounds white beans
1/3 cup olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 large onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, chopped
8 ounces small dried pasta
5 cups vegetable stock or water
1/3 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried crumbled sage
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sage leaves
Parsley sprigs
Olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

One of my favorite cold-weather recipes, this easy, wonderfully hearty peasant soup is from Herbs in the Kitchen by Carolyn Dille and Susan Belsinger, Interweave Press, 1992. Traditionally, pasta e fagioli is made with dried white beans—and although I have never seen it prepared with any other kind—there is no reason you couldn’t use any type of bean. I like cannelllini beans best and have also used Great Northern, navy and baby limas.

Serves 6 to 8

Soak the beans overnight. Pour off the soaking water and transfer the beans to a large soup pot. Cover the beans with 1 inch of water. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cook the beans until they are tender, about 1 hour, adding 1-1/2 teaspoons salt at the end of the cooking time.
While the beans are cooking, soften the onion and garlic over moderate heat remaining olive oil. Bring ample well-salted to a boil to cook the pasta. Cook the pasta until it is just barely al dente and drain it.

Stir the pasta, onion, sage and garlic into the beans. Add the vegetable stock and the tomato paste and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes.

Add the chopped parsley to the soup. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Rough-chop the sage and parsley leaves together for garnish. Ladle the soup into warm soup plates or bowls. Garnish with the herbs. Pass the olive oil and the grated cheese.

Read more about using sage in the kitchen...

More winter soup recipes (from

posted in: beans, soup

Comments (11)

martinblair54 writes: My favorite one
Posted: 5:04 am on November 4th
kerrystone65 writes: My favorite one
Posted: 2:06 am on October 26th
ryangreer22 writes: Excellent
Posted: 2:50 am on July 27th
lovelyellis writes: i like it.
Posted: 3:23 am on February 29th
LilyFord1 writes: This brings me back to my childhood, the soup is one of my favorite home dishes, my mother used to made me :)
Posted: 8:29 am on September 28th
barryedric writes: great stuff :-)
Posted: 10:38 am on July 1st
braidycoutney writes: greatrecipe
Posted: 7:16 am on May 26th
Robzikshi writes: Great stuff
Posted: 5:16 am on May 21st
darrylchad writes: very nice indeed
Posted: 4:48 am on May 12th
johnludvig writes: very tasty
Posted: 8:00 am on March 18th
micktyler writes: superb stuff .. very nice
Posted: 2:17 am on March 17th
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