pasta e fagioli [pasta & beans]

this soup is fifteen years in the making.

i distinctly remember one winter in the mid '90s. the winter of bean soup. for whatever reason, my dad was all excited about beans. i'm sure my dad remembers it differently - and my teenage dramatics didn't help - but it was meal after meal of beans. which lead to my fifteen year avoidance of bean soup.

sure, i challenged myself this month to see if i really had the willpower to keep myself from eating meat, but i also knew that if i didn't have meat to fall back on for protein, that this month would be a chance for me to try new foods. find new sources of protein. or ways to use familiar ingredients differently. this soup is a classic example. it's all the flavors i already love - sauteed onion, celery, carrot, and garlic - tossed with pasta and cheese with creamy white cannellini beans tossed in.

it's the perfect meal for cold january nights. especially weeknights, since i had this prepped, cooked, and on the table in under 30 minutes. and since the high is 12 degrees on saturday and 5(!) degrees on sunday, i suggest you stock up on beans and other soup fixings as well.
lly easy to prepare. and did i mention they're a great way to eat meat-free?!
pasta e fagioli [pasta & beans]
adapted from the joy of cooking
30 minutes, serves 4

the original recipe called for 2 cups of chicken stock. when i checked on the pasta halfway through cooking, all the liquid was absorbed and i added another cup. even with the additional cup of stock, i had a rich, thick, creamy stew at the end.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry elbow macaroni
1/4 cup grated romano cheese
  1. in a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. add the onion, carrot, and celery, and saute about 5 minutes, until onion is translucent.
  2. add the garlic and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  3. add the beans and chicken stock. bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer 5 minutes.
  4. add the elbows and season with salt. cover and simmer until the macaroni is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. season with salt & black pepper. stir in the romano cheese right before serving.


  1. This looks sooo yummy!!!! Winter is definitely the perfect time to cuddle up to a warm bowl of soup :)

    I remember my dad went through a green-beans-with-cream-of-mushroom phase. It's been 5 years and I'm still avoiding it lol.


  2. Hey! this looks delicious! Just what ive been craving... I may add a touch of color, like maybe red pepper flakes or something green- YUM!:D

  3. Kate, this pasta looks so warm and comforting and absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing it. I'm so glad I found your blog and am looking forward to exploring your recipes and seeing more! :) - Georgia

  4. Hi Kate congratulations!

    This dish looks really good!

    I made pasta & fagioli too in these days but with Bortolli beans.

    If you are curious you can find it here: http://bit.ly/gIIiBf

    see you soon!

  5. Pasta with beans is one of my family's favorites...I remember my great-grandma making this all throughout the winter when I was a kid. I don't remember her's being like a soup, but I'll have to give this a shot (and get her recipe)! Good luck with the frigid temps!

  6. I'd like to point out that you did in fact eat meat. Had you substituted vegetable broth for the chicken broth, you could have avoided this fate and perhaps learned yet another recipe as a bonus. Better luck next time.


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