I looooove pasta e fagioli. It’s such a simple dish (the name literally means pasta and beans in Italian) but it’s packed with layers of flavor. I will order it anytime I see it on the menu, especially at my favorite local Italian restaurant, Casa Cosenza. Even though it’s a broth-based soup, I still find it so hearty and delicious. Whenever any bout of cold weather comes through the area, or I’m craving Italian, this is my go-to meal.
Pasta e Fagioli
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 TBSP minced garlic
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
- 1 can (14.5 oz) cannellini beans (drained)
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup ditalini pasta
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Basil, chopped (optional)
Thinly slice up the bacon and saute it on the stove in a large saucepan (you’ll be using this saucepan to build the entire soup so make sure it is large enough!) Cook the bacon until it starts to get crispy and emits its fat. Add the onion and celery and cook until it starts to soften, then add in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook down for another minute.
Add in the tomatoes and drained beans and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add in the broth and water and bring to a hard simmer for 10 minutes while you cook your pasta.
In a separate saucepan, add water and bring to a boil. Add your pasta and cook for about 10 minutes (or according to package instructions).
Side note: You can cook the pasta in the soup itself but I find it better to cook them separately if you’re having leftovers (so you can store them separately). In leftovers, the pasta soaks up too much of the broth and expands.
Finish off with seasoning your soup with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Then top with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped basil. I love pairing this soup with a simple Caesar salad and garlic bread. Delicious!