Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli

A soup of many names, Pasta e Fagioli, Pasta Fagioli, or Pasta Fazool, this classic Italian soup of beans and short pasta with tomatoes and vegetables is a classic favorite.

Pasta Fagioli – an Italian Staple

Pasta e fagioli, or just pasta fagioli. I knew—and loved—this dish years before I knew how to spell it. Growing up in New Jersey, pasta e fagioli is a staple on every red sauce place’s menu, along with spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, alfredo and cannolis.

Pasta Fagioli, aka pasta fazool (which is Neapolitan dialect for the standard Italian word for “beans”), is a peasant dish, a simple soup of pasta and beans and veggies.

Variations of Pasta Fagioli

It’s also a dish of a thousand variations. Some cooks make a pasta e fagioli that’s so thick, it’s basically a pasta dish. Some people use so much tomato the fazool looks like a tomato soup with pasta and beans.

Sometimes you’ll see white beans, sometimes borlotti beans (basically the same thing as cranberry beans), and sometimes even kidney beans. Once in a while, you’ll see meat, either leftover bits of meatloaf or tiny meatballs, like the ones you see in Italian wedding soup.

My Pasta Fagioli

This pasta fagioli version is more of a chicken soup with beans and pasta and a little tomato. You can add more tomato if you’d like. I will often drizzle a little good olive oil over the soup at the end, or grate some parmesan cheese over it.

Quick Pasta Fagioli Soup Tip

One thing to remember about this soup: Because it has pasta in it, you either need to eat it all at one sitting, or resign yourself to the fact that the pasta will continue to absorb the soup as it rests in the fridge. So the next day it will be thicker, almost like a French potage. Still good, but different. (Also because of the pasta, this soup doesn’t freeze very well.)

Buon appetito!

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