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Pasta and Fagioli – Budget Bytes

Pasta and Fagioli – Budget Bytes

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A large pot full of cooked Pasta e Fagioli soup with parsley and Parmesan cheese with a ladle on the right side of the pot.A white serving bowl filled with cooked Pasta e Fagioli soup and topped with grated parmesan, chopped parsley and a torn piece of bread.  A black soup spoon nestles into the right side of the bowl.Two photos of pasta e fagioli soup: the top image of the soup is in a serving bowl surrounded by props, and the bottom image is a close-up of a ladle

If you’re looking for a super cozy and hearty soup to get you through spring, you have to try this pasta e fagioli for dinner tonight. I was lucky enough to eat pasta e fagioli in Italy for the first time and it was so good – I wanted to lick the bowl clean after eating the last spoonful! I’ve tweaked my own version over the years, combining techniques from both traditional Italian and Americanized versions to ultimately arrive at a soup that’s easy to make, insanely nostalgic, and comforting.

Large bowl of Pasta e Fagioli soup in a white bowl with a black spoon and a torn piece of bread surrounded by other ingredients such as more bread, uncooked pasta and a decorative blue and white napkin.

What is Pasta e Fagioli?

Pasta e Fagioli (pronounced “paa stuh ee faa jow lee”), also known as “Pasta Fazool” in Italian-American slang, simply means “pasta and beans”. This lesser-known Italian staple feels indulgent thanks to a touch of bacon and a handful of pasta, but since the soup is mostly veggies and beans, it’s a dinner that deserves second helpings without hesitation. Pasta e Fagioli consists of…

Cannellini beans (any white bean will do!) Small pasta (usually ditalini or acini di pepe) Tomato broth with smoked pork Fresh herbs (typically rosemary or thyme) Aromatic vegetables (onion, carrot, and celery) Parmesan and fresh Italian parsley

budget tips

I’ve made some changes to traditional versions of Pasta e Fagioli over the years to suit my tastes – and now to make it more budget friendly.

Most recipes use pancetta as the pork element. Since it’s harder to find in most grocery stores in the US and tends to be more expensive, we chose bacon. We used grated parmesan, the most cost-conscious option, but we reached for grated parmesan—or the real thing! – will take this soup to the next level. While rosemary is the most commonly used herb in this type of soup, I think it has a really overpowering flavor, even in small amounts. I like to use oregano because I always have it on hand.

Abbreviations during the week

Pasta e Fagioli is a pretty easy recipe anyway, but here are a few shortcuts you can use to make it in 30 minutes:

Skip the herbs, spices, oil, and mashed tomatoes and grab one Jar of pre-made marinara or any other tomato-based pasta sauce. (Since most store-bought sauces are sold in 24-25 ounce jars, you can make up the remaining 3-4 ounces of liquid called for in the recipe with the same amount of water or broth.) Use a Frozen vegetable mix Mirepoix style to shorten the preparation time.

How to store leftover pasta and fagioli

If you plan to make this recipe or freeze it, cook the pasta separately. Despite this, we found that the Ditalini we used didn’t absorb too much liquid or turn into mush – even after 4 days in the fridge! The broth will thicken over time, so if you want the leftovers to be “soupier,” add ¼ cup water and a pinch of salt while reheating.

How to serve pasta e fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli is best topped with lots of chopped parsley, freshly ground black pepper and Parmesan cheese. Top off the meal with a simple side salad and, most importantly, some bread to soak up every drop! It doesn’t matter what kind — anything from a super easy homemade garlic bread, a bread recipe from scratch like our No-Knead Foccacia, Ciabatta, or Easy Soda Bread, to a store-bought bread — just make sure you make it serve with bread!

Side view of a white serving bowl filled with pasta e fagioli, topped with parsley, parmesan cheese, bacon crumbles and crusty Irish soda bread.

Pasta e fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli is a classic budget-friendly Italian soup that combines beans, pasta, vegetables, and a flavorful tomato-based broth.

Author: Marion – Budget Bytes

Dutch oven filled with ready-made pasta e fagioli soup, topped with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese, with a ladle inserted into the right side of the soup.

4 oz. Bacon, sliced ​​($1.20) 1 tablespoon olive oil ($0.13) 1 onion, finely diced ($0.37) 2 carrots, finely diced ($0.29) 3 sticks celery, finely diced (0.32 $) 4 garlic cloves, chopped ($0.32) 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes ($0.04) 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.08) 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02) 1/2 tsp Pepper ($0.02)1 15 oz. Can of Cannelinni Beans ($0.89)1 28 oz. Can of Smashed Tomatoes ($1.69) 1 1/2 cups water 2 cups vegetable broth* ($0.24) 1 cup Ditalini (uncooked)** ($0.39) 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese ($0.36 ) 1/4 cup flat Italian parsley, roughly chopped ($0.35)

Cut the bacon into smaller pieces and place in a large saucepan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Fry over medium-high heat until bacon is brown and crisp (about 10 minutes).

While the bacon is frying, finely dice the onion, carrot, and celery; and chop the garlic.

Remove half of the cooked bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the rest of the meat and rendered fat in the pot.

Add the finely diced onions, carrots, celery, chopped garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper to the saucepan. Sauté the vegetables over medium-high heat until tender (about 6 minutes).

Add white beans, canned tomatoes (with juice), water, and vegetable stock to saucepan. Mix everything together, then bring the soup to a boil. After boiling, cook for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.

Add the noodles to the soup and cook, uncovered, according to package directions, stirring frequently to keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the grated parmesan and chopped parsley. If the broth is reduced too much (the pasta will absorb a lot of the flavorful broth as it cooks), add another ½ cup of water, taste and adjust the seasoning again if necessary.

Serve pasta e fagioli in bowls topped with the reserved bacon, chopped parsley, grated Parmesa cheese, freshly ground black pepper, and a side of warm, crusty bread.

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*We use Better Than Bouillon to make our broth. If you’re using a low-sodium broth, you may need to add more salt to taste. **If you plan to save leftovers or freeze this soup for later, cook the noodles in a separate pot according to package directions and skip step 6. (Spread noodles among bowls and spoon over to serve Soup.)

Serving: 1.5 cups Calories: 248kcal Carbohydrates: 28g Protein: 8g Fat: 12g Sodium: 744mg Fiber: 2g

Read our full nutritional disclaimer here.

Close-up of a ladle full of cooked pasta and fagioli soup and a large pot full of more soup in the background.

How to Make Pasta E Fagioli – Step by Step Photos

Small slices of bacon fried in the bottom of a large Dutch oven.

Cut 4 ounces of bacon (1/4 of a regular size packet) into smaller pieces and place in a large saucepan or Dutch oven along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the bacon over medium-high heat until brown and crispy (about 10 minutes). While the bacon is frying, finely dice 1 onion, 2 carrots, and 3 celery stalks; and finely chop 4 cloves of garlic.

A large Dutch oven half filled with uncooked diced onions, diced carrots, diced celery with cooked bacon rashers underneath and piles of dried peppers, minced garlic and dried oregano, salt and pepper on top.

Remove half of the cooked bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside to serve. Leave the rest of the meat and excess fat in the pot. Add the diced onions, carrots, celery, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper to the saucepan. Sauté the vegetables over medium-high heat until tender (about 6 minutes).

A large saucepan half filled with sautéed vegetables, uncooked kidney beans, and mashed tomatoes, and a hand pouring vegetable broth into the saucepan using a liquid measuring cup.

Add a 15 oz. can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed), one 28 oz. Add can of mashed tomatoes (with juice), 1 1/2 cups water, and 2 cups vegetable stock to saucepan. Stir everything and increase the heat (if necessary) to bring the soup to a boil.

Large pot filled with Pasta e Fagioli soup, which simmers to boil before the final ingredients are added.

Once the soup is cooked, let the soup cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the broth has boiled enough to take off the “canned” flavor of the tomatoes.

Hand pour uncooked ditalini into a saucepan of simmering pasta e fagioli soup.

Add 1 cup of small pasta (ditalini) to the soup and cook uncovered according to package directions (about 7 minutes). Stir frequently so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Skip this step if you’re saving leftovers or want to freeze this soup for later. Instead, cook the pasta in a separate pot according to package directions.

A closeup of a wooden spoon raised over a cooked pot of pasta and fagioli soup.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the grated parmesan and chopped parsley. If the broth is reduced too much (the pasta will absorb a lot of the flavorful broth as it cooks), add another ½ cup of water, taste and adjust the seasoning again if necessary.

A large pot filled with cooked Pasta e Fagioli soup with a wooden spoon on the right side of the pot and a hand tossing in grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley sitting on top of the soup in the pot.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the grated parmesan and chopped parsley.

Prepare Pasta e Fagioli soup with a wooden spoon sticking out of the top right of the pot.

If the broth is reduced too much (the pasta will absorb a lot of the flavorful broth as it cooks), add another ½ cup of water, taste and adjust the seasoning again if necessary.

Side view of a bowl of Pasta e Fagioli soup with bacon, parsley and parmesan cheese with a black soup spoon and a torn piece of bread to the side.

Serve the soup in bowls topped with more chopped parsley, grated parmesan, freshly ground black pepper, reserved bits of bacon, and a side of warm, crusty bread. Enjoy your meal!

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