Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli

Serves 4-6

Pasta e fagioli, which literally means “pasta and beans,” is a warming Italian soup. With all this cool weather and rain, a warm bowl of pasta soup sounds comforting.  This recipe is popular in Italian cuisine world and made with many variations, some add ground beef, some no meat at all. It is easily a vegetarian soup as well. Just omit the sausage and pancetta. Chicken broth can also be substituted with vegetable broth. I serve it with Salad and Italian bread.  Give it a try!

Pasta e Fagioli: Recipes


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb. Italian mild sausage (optional)
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely diced.
  • 2 medium carrots finely diced.
  • 2 stalks celery finely diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced.
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 4-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup dried lentils, rinsed (brown lentils are fine) *
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary.
  • 1 cup pasta, such as elbow macaroni or ditalini
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • ½ cup chopped and cooked pancetta or bacon (optional)
  • Chopped parsley for garnishment.


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the Italian sausage, break it up and cook until the fat begins to render, about 5 minutes. It should be like cooking ground beef. Add the onions, carrots and celery and increase the heat to medium; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, make sure garlic doesn’t burn.
  2. Add the wine and cook until it has nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, salt, pepper, beans, lentils, tomatoes, bay leaves, and rosemary. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are just tender, 15 minutes.
  3. Add the pasta to the pot. Turn the heat up to a gentle boil and cook until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes depending on the type of pasta you used (follow timing on the package). The soup will thicken a bit by the time the pasta is cooked. Discard the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs.
  4. Remove the soup from heat and stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano. If the soup seems too thick, gradually add 1 to 2 cups of water or chicken broth and thin to the desired consistency (the longer the soup sits on the stove, the thicker it will get). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with more cheese, and chopped parsley, pancetta, or cooked crisp bacon if desired. ENJOY!

    Note: This soup is best served immediately; the pasta and beans soak up the broth as it sits. If the soup gets too thick, you can thin it with a bit of broth or water.

    *Lentils cook rather quickly, but I soak my lentils for 5-7 minutes in warm water before adding it to the soup.