Pasta e Fagioli

By Gina Caputo

Pasta e Fagioli

In all my years of making pasta, I've never made a proper Pasta e Fagioli (pasta and beans) because canned cannellini beans are already mushy so adding them to a soup only works when you're going for creamy and not toothsome beans. So I ordered a 5 lb bag of organic, dry cannellini beans so I could finally make this classic Italian dish. You may be able to find them locally.

I have to say, I think this is definitely in the top 10 things I've ever made, maybe even the top 5! It was so amazingly delicious on a cold night and super hearty.

Ingredients:

Beans

  • 5 cups dried cannellini beans or other white bean
  • 6 cups of broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt

Soffritto

  • 2 glugs of EVOO 
  • Half a yellow onion, diced
  • One large or two medium carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Pinch sea salt

 Pasta

  • 16 oz pasta (I used orecchiete, any of the smaller shapes will work but these cradle the beans so beautifully and allow for you to have bites with both!)
  • 1 tetra-pak (4 cups) of broth (vegetable or chicken)

Salsa Verde

  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, stems removed, rough chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Calabrian peppers or any pepper, rough chopped
  • Lemon zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • Big pinch sea salt
  • EVOO

 Instructions:

Beans

(These instructions are for Instant Pot, if you don’t have one, you can do this on your stove top but will need to soak your cannellini beans for 24 hours prior to cooking)

  1. Put all ingredients in your Instant Pot, twist and lock the lid
  2. Cook for 30 minutes on Chili/Beans setting
  3. Allow to sit for 20 minutes to naturally vent, then turn knob to venting
  4. Do not drain! You will use the bean broth to cook the pasta in.

Soffritto

  1. Heat EVOO in a large soup pot on medium
  2. Add all other ingredients and stir to combine
  3. Reduce heat to low and cook slowly for 30 minutes while stirring frequently

Pasta

  1. Add the beans and all bean liquid to soffritto pot
  2. Add dried pasta
  3. Add 4 cups of broth
  4. If the dried pasta noodles are not fully covered, top off with water until they are covered
  5. Bring to a boil and cook until your shape of pasta is done (check package for approximate time and check frequently)

Meanwhile make…

Salsa Verde

  1. Put all ingredients except EVOO in a blender or food processor
  2. Whizz a few times to combine
  3. Drizzle oil in from the top until it all combines (usually 1/4-1/3 cup EVOO)
  4. Adjust salt to your preference

Serve in soup bowls (consistency is usually more like stew than soup, just FYI) with a generous spoonful or two (or 5) of the salsa verde on top!

 


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