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This Pasta e Fagioli will become a new staple in your kitchen! A thicker and hearty Italian soup made with pasta, vegetables, beans, and kale.
I’m not sure I’ve fallen in love with a soup quite as quickly as I have fallen in love with Pasta e Fagioli. Man, is it good! It’s buttery while still being healthy. It’s hearty without being too heavy. The vegetables go mostly unnoticed because of the pasta and the mom who is heavy-handed with the parmesan cheese. The longer it sits, the tastier and thicker it gets. It makes a great big pot and you’ll be glad because it’s that tasty. So so delicious with homemade focaccia or No-Knead Crescent Rolls!
Pasta e Fagioli…my new favorite soup!
Fall is here and I am in full on soup mode. See here, here and here. We’re not mad about this at my house. Pasta e Fagioli is one of my favorites for so many reasons. The recipe is so flavorful, so simple, pretty darn traditional and the longer it cooks, the thicker and more delicious it becomes. It has delicious pancetta cooked right in but also has tons of beans and veggies so its healthful too. I promise, you will LOVE it.
Main Ingredients Needed
I’ve made this Pasta e Fagioli recipe three times in the past two weeks to not only test the recipe but because I actually wanted to eat it that many times. Normally, after two go-arounds I’m over it. But not this time. So here’s what you need to make and be obsessed over this recipe:
- Olive Oil and Pancetta – if you’re in a pinch you can also use bacon instead of pancetta.
- Carrots, Celery, and Onions – these are the vegetables I’m using as the base. 4 cups total!
- Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, and Bay Leaves – the rosemary seems a little odd, but it does make a difference. If you don’t like rosemary, try it in this recipe because it blends really nicely with the basil, oregano, and bay leaves. It’s not overpowering in the least!
- Chicken Stock – I like stock over broth because it’s more flavorful, but if you just have broth, use that.
- Salt and Pepper – this seasons the overall soup base! Don’t forget it.
- Diced Tomatoes and White Beans – these are canned and provide a lot of flavor and protein!
- Ditalini Pasta – if you can’t find this type of pasta, buy another type that is short cut.
- Chopped Fresh Kale and Parmesan Cheese – these two ingredients finish off the soup with vitamin-rich kale and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
How to make Pasta e Fagioli
All you need is a nice big soup pot (this heavy bottomed one is my favorite) and 40 minutes to throw this soup together! For exact increments and full recipe directions, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Render your pancetta down in some oil and brown.
- Add in celery, onion, carrot and spices and cook 3 minutes.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes, beans, chicken stock and ditalini.
- Don’t forget salt & pepper. That is important.
- Cook the Pasta e Fagioli, stirring every few minutes until the pasta has cooked up and is tasting tender. (Check the back of the pasta box for more accurate cook times.)
- After pasta is cooked, add in the chopped kale.
- Serve with lots of parmesan cheese.
Do I have to use Ditalini Pasta?
Well, yes and no. If you wanted this to be a traditional Pasta e Fagioli then yes! Use the ditalini. However, if you don’t care or just want to get dinner done and you happen to have some other short cut pasta on hand, then by all means add that in instead. Orzo, elbow macaroni, rotini, even broken spaghetti noodles will work great!
You technically can freeze Pasta Fagioli but be warned that freezing it with cooked pasta is a recipe for disaster!
Instead make the soup ahead of time without the pasta, store in a freezer-safe container (leaving about an inch of space between the soup and the lid to allow for expansion) for up to 3 months. Also, be conscious about how cooked your vegetables are when reheating they are going to cook a little more so I suggest slightly undercooking the veggies.
Defrost in the fridge overnight or by warming on the stovetop. When ready to serve, cook the pasta separately and add to the soup after draining.
Leftover Pasta e Fagioli is good for up to 3 days in the fridge, covered. However, after the first day, the pasta becomes pretty big and the soup turns into a thick stew because the pasta has really soaked up a lot of the (delicious) broth. So plan accordingly if you want to keep this soup as leftovers.
I know a lot of people that cook their pasta separately and add it in as they ladle up their bowls, right before serving. I am not one of those people because I fall under the “do not care” camp. But just know that is an option!
Anyways, if you’re loving these cooler temperatures and are all about all things cozy and warm, be sure to check out my other soup recipes!
Printable recipe card is below for you to save/bookmark/print/pin. Hope you love this as much as we did! Have a great day, friends!
Pasta e Fagioli
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 oz pancetta diced
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 1 1/2 cups celery chopped
- 1 1/2 cups carrot diced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken stock
- salt & pepper to taste
- 28 oz diced tomatoes 1 can
- 1 can white beans drained
- 1 cup ditalini pasta
- 3 cups chopped fresh kale stems removed
- grated parmesan cheese optional
- Preheat heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add in oil and pancetta. Cook to brown and render fat from pancetta, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in onion, celery, carrot, and dried spices. Cook another 3 minutes.
- Pour in chicken stock, salt & pepper, can of tomatoes, beans and pasta.
- Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer, stirring every 2-3 minutes to ensure the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Once pasta is cooked, stir in kale.
- Taste, adjust seasonings if necessary and serve with parmesan cheese.