Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli (also known in America as Pasta Fasul or Pasta Fazool), it’s a delicious Italian dish, meaning Pasta and Beans.

This traditional Italian meal is comfort in a bowl! It is made with inexpensive ingredients, it’s extremely nutritious, simple to make, uses just one pan and tastes even better warmed up the day after if you have any leftovers!

There are many different variations of this dish depending on which Italian region you go to, but this is how my mamma used to make it.

Small pasta works well with this dish, such as shells, ditalini, small tubes, orecchiette, etc.

It can also be adapted and made with arborio rice instead of pasta, giving it more of a risotto texture to it.

You will need cannellini beans for this dish.

You can use dried beans if you prefer. If using dry, they will need to be soaked overnight and they require a much longer cooking time. I’m never that organized! So I use tins, same result and less work! Some brands are better than others, so try out a few and see which ones you prefer. I love Napolina or Four Season (from Aldi) as I have found they are the best for beans plumpness and creaminess.

This recipe will feed a family of 4

What you will need:

  • 2 tins of cannellini beans (or 300gr of dry beans)
  • Fresh or frozen Crushed Garlic (quantity depends on how much you like garlic, if you don’t want to taste it one to two cloves is enough)
  • Fresh or dried Parsley
  • 2 tbsp of tomato puree (or passata)
  • 320gr of Pasta (or Arborio rice)

Place the beans (including the water they come in), garlic, parsley and tomato puree in a large pan. Add water (approx. double the volume) in a large saucepan, and place on the hob to cook on a medium heat for about an hour, you can cook for less time but I find the more you cook them the nicer they taste!

If you are using dried beans, drain the water they have been soaking in before adding to the pan and add fresh water. The length of time it will take for the dried beans to cook will vary greatly from brand to brand, as an average you are looking at around a minimum of 2 hours. As they are cooking, try a taste test or mash a bean against the side of the pot with a fork or spoon, the bean should be soft and creamy.

Keep an eye on the water level, you don’t want it to dry out. I always keep a kettle full of boiling water when cooking this dish.

When ready to eat, bring to pan to the boil and add your pasta and salt to taste, make sure you have enough water to cover it all. Turn the heat down to a simmer till the pasta is cooked.

If using rice instead, it’s the same process, just add the rice instead of the pasta, but you will need to add more water, do this a ladle spoon at the time.

After adding the pasta or rice, ensure you keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, you can add more water from the kettle if you feel it’s too dry. This dish will dry out as it cools so don’t be afraid to add water, and you can always take some liquid out with a ladle when nearly ready if you prefer it to be drier. 

After dishing it out, you can add pepper or chilli flakes if you like a bit of a spice kick. Fresh chopped up onion is also a delicious addition. Some people (like my husband) like to add parmesan cheese to it (he adds parmesan to everything!!)

Did you enjoy this recipe? You can find more in the recipes category!

I absolutely love seeing what you’ve created, so if you do make this recipe (or any other items from my website) don’t forget to tag me over on my social media pages 

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