This wonderful, classic and authentic Pasta Fagioli Recipe is rustic, hearty Italian Food that tastes amazing and is sort of a cross between soup and a stew…just delicious!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Yay for classic, hearty soup recipes! This one is minestrone-like, but thicker like a stew, and makes for a really delicious meal.
This traditional Authentic Pasta Fagioli (sometimes called Pasta Fazool or traditional Pasta e Fagioli) is all about the pasta and beans, and it’s really worth making. Here’s why:
- This is a classic Italian soup that’s really simple and delicious, like that little Italian Restaurant down the street. 🙂
- It’s seriously tasty & filling and it makes eight generous servings – enough for the whole family, plus, many of the ingredients are pantry items!
- The ingredient list is a little long, but it’s quick & easy to make.
- While you could make your own chicken stock, we’ll use store-bought broth instead.
- Great flavors here! Beans and pasta and garlic and tomatoes…this is comfort food at its finest 🙂
Why not bookmark these similar recipes to try later? This Baked Pasta and Chicken Sausage is a reader favorite, and this ground turkey Pasta Bake is like lasagne, but made in a skillet in just 30 minutes!
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the full recipe and list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll to the recipe card below.
Here are the main ingredients:
- Bacon: For extra flavor
- Chicken broth: For richness
- Tomatoes: A large can or box, chopped to make a brothy tomato sauce
- Beans: Cannellini beans, creamy and perfect
- Celery: A real flavor booster
- Garlic Clove: Fresh garlic is best in this recipe
- Onion: A building block of flavor
- Pasta: Almost any small shells will do
- Parmesan Rind: Hang onto these! They add so much flavor to soup!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: To cook the onions in, and for garnish
- Seasonings: Oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper
- Anchovy: Optional, but authentic. If you’re squeamish, try a tablespoon of mellow miso instead
- Fresh Parsley: Really brightens up the flavors here
Step-By Step Instructions
After you heat the olive oil in a large pot (dutch oven), then:
- Add the bacon until it cooks a bit and starts to brown
- Next, add in the celery and onion, cook until soft
- Then add the garlic, oregano, pepper flakes and anchovies (if using) or miso
Pro Tip! Stir from the bottom of the pot with a wooden or silicone spoon to grab up all the tasty bits..this is where the flavor is.
4. Stir in the tomatoes, the beans and the Parmesan rind, let this simmer for a few minutes.
5. Next, add in the chicken broth and pasta and continue to cook until the pasta is al dente (still a bit firm when you bite into it.)
6. Stir in some of the chopped fresh parsley.
7. Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with more Parmesan cheese, parsley and a drizzle of olive oil and serve!
Tips and Possible Variations
There’s some versatility to this soup, and here’s some suggestions:
- Use ditalini, tubetti or conchigliette dry pasta. I used ditalini, which is a tube-like small pasta that’s easy to find and used in recipes like pasta salad.
- Try pancetta instead of bacon if you’d like.
- Use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock or broth if you prefer.
- Use pinto beans, cranberry beans or Borlotti beans instead of cannellini if you’d like.
- You can use dry beans too, if you have time to cook them in advance.
- It’s not traditional, but you could add sliced, cooked Italian sausage to the top of this soup.
- This recipe is thick, rustic and stew-like, so when you re-heat it, you’ll need to add a little water or chicken broth. Reheat it in a saucepan over medium heat, bringing it to a gentle simmer until heated through.
- This bowl of deliciousness just cries out for a sandwich. This BLT made with Naan Bread is amazing, and so is this Turkey Burger, with or without the cranberry.
- You could always have a salad instead, and this Lemon Shrimp Caesar or this Kale Salad Recipe are very good choices.
- Be sure to serve this recipe with a small side bowl of chopped fresh parsley, more Parmesan cheese, a good drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and some hot, crusty bread.
- Dessert is needed after almost any meal in opinion, and I never miss an opportunity to eat it. If you haven’t tried these strawberry cheesecake bars yet, better make a batch.
- That said, what could be better than Fresh Figs Cake too? Or this scrumptious and easy blackberry galette recipe?
- You can also make some mini blueberry pies, or mini strawberry pies – both are great and have shortcut ingredients.
- Go super easy and make these outrageous chocolate covered Rice Krispy treats. They’re the best version ever!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can, but keep in mind this soup is best served immediately. The pasta and beans will expand a bit and thicken the soup as it cools, so if you do reheat it, add a bit more broth or water to thin it out.
I get it. Me neither. However, you can get some of that salty, umami flavor from mellow miso paste, and it’s a perfect substitute here.
This is something you can be flexible with, but small pasta shapes like ditalini, small shells, elbow or tubetti work best, cooked to al dente as the pasta will continue to cook in the hot liquid of the soup.
More Recipes to Try
- Italian Greens and Beans with Escarole Recipe: Another delicious soup, easy too
- Cornbread Recipe without Milk: Wonderful with soup!
- Corn Chowder Dairy Free: A creamy, wonderful soup
- Cherry Tomato Soup Recipe: Fresh & delicious in under and hour
- Summer Pasta: One of my most loved recipes!
- Dairy Free Pumpkin Soup Recipe: Just delicious!
- Italian Green Bean Salad: Crunchy and fresh, this is a great salad with almost anything!
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Authentic Pasta Fagioli Recipe
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil Plus extra for serving
- 3 slices Bacon, chopped fine
- 1 medium Onion, chopped finely
- 1 rib Celery, chopped finely
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 3 Anchovy Filets, or 2 tablespoons Mellow White Miso Paste
- 1 28 ounce can Chopped (diced) Tomatoes
- 1 Parmesan Cheese rind Or use a 2 inch cube of Parmesan Cheese
- 2 15-ounce cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 ½ cups Low-sodium chicken broth
- 2½ cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Small Pasta, like ditalini, orzo, or tubettini
- ¼ cup Italian Parsley, chopped finely
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- In a large soup pot (dutch oven) add the olive oil and the bacon pieces and cook until it begins to brown, stirring it occasionally, Add the onions, celery and continue to cook until they're soft, another 5 minutes or so. Add in the garlic, oregano, pepper flakes and anchovy or miso (use one or the other) and cook, stirring it a bit for another minute. Add in the tomatoes, the Parmesan cheese rind (or cube) and the cannellini beans and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Add in the chicken broth, water, and salt to the pot, and increase the heat to high to bring it to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Remove from the heat and remove the Parmesan rind (if you used a cube of cheese with no rind, it will just melt into the soup which is good). Taste the soup and season with more salt (1/2 teaspoon or so) and few grinds of black pepper. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the chopped parsley, and stir. Add the soup to bowls and serve immediately with more grated Parmesan cheese, parsley and a drizzle of olive oil in each bowl.
- Use ditalini, tubetti or conchigliette pasta. I used ditalini, which is a small, tube-like pasta that’s easy to find and used in recipes like pasta salad.
- Try pancetta instead of bacon if you’d like.
- Use vegetable broth instead of chicken if you prefer.
- It’s not traditional, but you could add sliced, cooked sausages to the top of this soup.
- This recipe is rustic and stew-like, so when you re-heat it, you’ll need to add a little water or chicken broth. Reheat it in a saucepan over medium heat, bringing it to a gentle simmer until heated through.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible
This recipe was adapted from Cooks Illustrated.