LOOKING for: Pasta fagioli - Tried and true

cookingrvcDecember 30, 2007

Ok, so let's get the obvious out of the way...why is an Italian asking for a good pasta fagioli recipe???

Well, we've made it the same way for years, but the other night my sister ordered it at a fine restaurant in town and it was delicious and very different from our family recipe.

It was slightly smokey (I suspect it had some pancetta or bacon added in the early stages of cooking)and was thick as if it were partly pureed late in the cooking process).

It was delicious and very thick...a meal in itself. The beans were the prominent feature, but cooked until very tender, and there was NOT a prominent tomato flavor or color.

Anyone have a T&T recipe that sounds similar?

Thanks and Happy New Year,


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Sue, I have not made this....yet. However many CF members have and rave about it. It's Marilyn's recipe, and I can't see why you couldn't add a bit of pancetta or bacon to give it a smoky flavor.

Pasta e Fagioli

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion; chopped
2 stalks celery; sliced
2 carrots; julienne cut
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 pound Italian sausage (or ground beef)
2 cloves garlic; minced
4 cups beef broth or stock
1 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes in puree
1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans; drained
1 (15-oz.) can red kidney beans; drained
1 cup ditalini pasta (or small shells)
freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a very large soup pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Stir in onion, celery, carrot and a sprinkle each of salt and pepper. Cover pot and "sweat" vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove vegetables from pot and set aside.

Brown sausage in pot until no longer pink, stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add vegetables back to pot along with beef broth, wine, dried basil, tomatoes, salt and lots of fresh ground pepper (We like it spicy so I use a good teaspoon). Cover pot and simmer over low heat for one hour.

Uncover pot and increase temperature so mixture simmers without the id. Stir in beans and simmer for another 30 minutes or to desired consistency. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al denteƂ (still a little chewy) and rinse in cold water; stir into soup and turn off heat. *If it cooks too much after adding the pasta it will become over cooked and too soft. Serve with freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese.

*For thicker soup, puree half of the beans before adding to the soup


    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 5:23PM
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Thanks Linda...the recipe I found in time to make for dinner was somewhat similar to Marilyn's and was a winner, as I am sure is Marilyn's (which would satisfy my husbands need for meat with that sausage)!

My goal was to have something hearty and not too decadent after the eat- and drink-a-thon of this past week. I used the recipe below but substituted pancetta for bacon, and added fresh rosemary to the simmer stage which was increased to over an hour - part covered. I cooked the macaroni separate so as not to soak up too much liquid.

Very good, thick, and smokey.

I served it with a bright, fresh salad that had a light coating of vinegar and extra virgin olive oil with just the right amount of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

We feasted while watching 'Mr. Brooks'(Kevin Costner, Wm. Hurt, Demi Moore), a decent suspense movie.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 1:01AM
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I know I'm too late with this and it's not T&T (by me), but when I saw it, I thought it sounded like what you described :)

Source: teriskitchen.com


In our house this is known as "Pasta Fazool". My first introduction to this hearty Italian soup was from some Italian friends. This is my version. It takes some work to make, but the results are so rewarding.


* 2 smoked ham hocks
* 2 quarts water
* 1 cup dry white beans, such as Great Northern
* 1/8 pound (2 ounces) fat back, rinsed of salt
* 1/2 cup chopped onions
* 1/2 cup chopped celery
* 4 large cloves garlic, chopped (more, if desired)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 cups dried tubular pasta, such as ditalini, elbows or small shells
* Salt and pepper to taste
* Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the ham hocks in 2 cups water until tender, about 2 hours. Remove meat from bones, disgarding fat, and chop. Reserve liquid.

In a 4-quart saucepan, bring beans and 2-quarts water to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove from burner and let soak, covered, for 20 minutes. Drain beans, reserving liquid and adding enough fresh water to the liquid to make 2 quarts.

Meanwhile, chop fat back, onions, celery and garlic into a paste (called a battuto); this can be done with a large chef's knife or in the food processor. Heat olive oil in a large kettle over medium heat. Add the battuto and cook until the fat is completely rendered and just starting to turn golden, about 10 minutes, being careful not to brown. Add the beans, reserved bean cooking liquid, ham and ham cooking liquid to the kettle. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer, covered, until beans are tender, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Skim fat from top of soup, but not all. (Can be prepared to this point several hours before serving or several days and refrigerated.)

Before serving, bring soup back to a boil; add pasta and simmer, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes, depending on pasta used. (If soup appears too liquid, remove the lid; if soups appears too thick while pasta is cooking, add extra liquid.) Taste for seasoning. Serve immediately, passing Parmesan cheese.

Notes: The fat back used in this recipe is the type with no meat. If unavailable, use salt pork but remove all meat and reserve for another time. For those who are highly fat conscious, the fat back can be omitted. You will still have a very good soup. You will need to use your judgment on the amounts of pasta and liquid needed, as beans do not always soak up the same amount depending on their age and dryness. This soup should be thick, but it is best with some liquid. Leftover soup reheats very well and may taste better than the original. However, more liquid may need to be added as the beans and pasta soak up additional liquid in reheating.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 6:28PM
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best ive had is from Lidias cookbook

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 8:24AM
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I think I'll try one of these, but since I don't do pork, I might sub out crushed black cardamom seeds (they really smell/taste 'smokey').

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 1:05PM
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I made Marilyn's recipe this weekend and had people over to eat it twice. Rave reviews all around. Thanks for posting it, Linda!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 11:04PM
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This recipe appeared in a local newspaper. My family and I have made it several times--Yummy!

Pasta E Fagiole Bianco
Compliments of Siena Reataurant, 238 Atwells Avenue, Providence, RI

1 ounce Italian olive oil
1/2 cup spanish onions, diced
2 oz Prosciutto Rind (Parma) -(I used diced prosciutto)
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
2 cans Progresso cannellini beans
3 large basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated, to taste
8 oz. ditalini shaped pasta

Heat oil and saute the prosciutto rind and onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes being careful not to burn the onions. Add the garlic and cook for approximately 1 minute or until you get the first burst of garlic aroma. Do not brown the garlic. Add the white wine and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add all the remaining ingredients (except salt, pasta and cheese). Do not wash the cannellini beans and use all the juice in the cans. After a quick boil, reduce the soup to a simmer for 30-40 minutes.

In a separate pan, bring 3 cups of lightly salted water to a boil.

Add ditalini pasta and cook for approximately 5 minutes. After cooking, drain the pasta and chill under cold water. Put aside.

Before serving, removed the prosciutto rind and bring the soup back to a quick boil. Add the cooked pasta, and grated cheese and salt to taste.

Each bowl of soup should be garnished with more grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and some fresh juilenne basil.

makes eight 8-oz dishes.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 12:27PM
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