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Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta and beans (pronounced pasta fazh-e-ohl-eh, and sometimes referred to as pasta fazool) is a classic Italian dish that couldn’t be much faster, easier or more inexpensive; it can also be made without precision, and you can take liberties with the ingredients: a bit of sausage with the onion, carrot and celery is delicious, you could add some thyme, rosemary or Italian seasoning to the pot, and though small pasta shapes are traditional, a diced potato or even some rice or other grain would be tasty as well. With more stock, tomato juice or other liquid, it’s more like minestrone; with less it’s a thicker, stewier pasta dish. If you happen to save your Parmesan rinds, this is a good use for it.

Pasta e Fagioli

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March 4, 2020


canola or olive oil, for cooking

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1-2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 14-19 oz (398-540 mL) can white kidney or navy beans, drained

1 19 oz (540 mL) can diced, whole or pureed tomatoes

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (+ extra as needed)

1/4-1/2 cup small pasta, such as shells, tubes or orzo

salt and pepper, to taste

1-2 cups chopped spinach, chard or kale (or a bit of frozen-optional)

grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


1Set a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the onion, carrot and celery for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.

2Add the beans, tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer, breaking up any large tomatoes with a spoon. Reduce heat to medium and add the pasta and some salt and pepper along with about a cup of water.

3Simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is tender, 10-15 minutes. Stir in the spinach, just long enough for it to wilt. Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and an extra drizzle of olive oil, if you like. Serves 4-6.


About Julie

7 comments on “Pasta e Fagioli

  1. eva
    March 5, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    Sounds lip smacking good! ?

  2. Jody
    March 9, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    This was AMAZING! I added some Italian sausage and a Parmesan rind. It was almost identical to the recipe we used to make at this Italian deli where I worked an eon ago! Thanks for another hit Julie!

  3. Sue D
    March 10, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Yum! This is exactly what I want right now!

    • Julie
      March 10, 2020 at 10:51 pm

      Thanks Sue! xoxo

  4. Helen Read
    March 24, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Julie, I met your sister a few years back when I was hiking and staying at EP hut and she was using her new tiny tent that her kids had bought for her. We met on a trail and enjoyed hiking back together, as it was getting a big late at night. She was teaching as I recall (maybe as an assistant principal in NW school?
    I too am making bread and enjoyed hearing this morning on CBC that others are enjoying their bread machines. I have been using the recipes for the machine but taking the bread out after two sessions of mixing/kneading, then I shape it into a loaf and let it rise in lightly greased bread pan, and have had nothing but successes since. Say HI to your sister please for me. Helen REad (I live in Canmore Three Sisters) helenread@shaw.ca

    • Julie
      March 25, 2020 at 7:49 pm

      Great to hear it! that’s what I used to do when I had a bread machine too. Ali says hi!!

  5. Faye
    April 7, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Hi – am planning on this one this week….I also just went through your ‘Beans’ cookbook & chose 9 recipes to make over the next 2-3 weeks….so heading out to buy ‘many’ cans of beans….can’t wait…thanks as always for ALL you do…..just listened to your soba noodle on CBC…I LOVE soba noodles – so hope I can find…..

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