Pasta & Beans

Pasta e Fagioli

This Italian dish is almost as famous as the pizza, or spaghetti and meatballs. It’s a dish that everybody likes. 

As the article in the Guardian says, it is different from region to region, and sometimes from family to family. In fact, my recipe comes from a recipe written in the back of the envelope; A classic of Italian cuisine!😊

Pasta & Fagioli Alla Veneta

The ingredients are simple and cheap. Perfect in these times when we are coming to terms with our past “lavishing” lives. 


(200 gr) The right beans for this dish are the ones called ”borlotti,” or the “pinto beans” found easily to any supermarket in the USA. If dry they need to be soaked in abundant water overnight. I usually buy them in full season and then freeze them until I need them. 

(100 gr) The ideal pasta is the “ditalini.” I saw many using every kind of leftover pasta, but that doesn’t do it for me. I like the pasta to be cooked all equally, or “al dente!” I can’t have different shapes and random pieces. 

(50gr) Pancetta is also an ingredient. Cut in small pieces. Although, I often omit it, because I like lowering the fat intake in my dishes. But it is just me. 

One stalk of chopped celery stalk, one carrot, and one clove of garlic is always a must. 

Notice that there is no onion. 

Chopped parsley, and 2 lt. Of warm water.

And as the recipe (on the back of the envelope) said; … Salt & pepper to taste, and if it doesn’t taste good, add some more 😃

It should cook for about 1 and ½ hours. 


The Best Part

Once ready, I scoop out about half a cup of beans (I make sure to have just the beans), and I blend the rest, to obtain a creamy soup, rather thick. Then I add the beans back, bring to boil and add my ditalini pasta. It will be cooked in about 10 minutes. It needs to be stirred though.

Some add a little extra virgin oil and do not add Parmesan (me), but anyone should feel free to add the Parmesan if so preferred.

Pasta & Fagioli tastes even better the day after. 


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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

3 thoughts on “Pasta & Beans

  1. Pasta e fagioli without Parmesan cheese is like the spring without the fall. Yes, one can do without it, but why?


    1. That is what the “purists” of classic Italian cuisine recommend. The Parmesan cheese has a strong flavor that covers the delicate aroma of the soup. Hence they suggest by-passing the cheese. I can easily to without, even in regular pasta sometimes (not all), and I absolutely refuse cheese over spaghetti with “vongole” (lams), or other seafood-based sauces.
      But everybody is free to suit their tastes to their convenience.


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