Pasta e Fagioli

We have been on a quest to eat healthier (more on that in a future post) and this is a perfect dish to suit our new dietary requirements. First of all, it turned out being a sort of soup, and I wasn't quite expecting that. I was expecting more of a vegetable medley / stew type of thing based on the photos in the book I got the recipe from, but it's okay because it really hit the spot.

The earthy flavor of the broth from the sauteed vegetables and bay leaf is accented with a small amount of rosemary and fresh parsley. Three kinds of beans and a little bit of pasta make it a filling meal despite its lightness. I'm glad I made the whole recipe because we look forward to eating this leftover the next few days.

We're always off to a good start with chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic.

Sautee in a large pot with a bay leaf, about 2 tsp of rosemary, and a little salt and pepper.

15 oz. cans of cannellini and chick peas, drained and rinsed. This was my new wire-mesh colander, so I was pretty excited about that. There are chick peas under the beans, I swear.

Beans and chick peas along with 3 T of tomato paste into the pot for about a minute.

3 cups of chicken broth and 3 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil.

Lower heat to a simmer and add 1 cup of small pasta like Ditalini. Let the pasta simmer for about 5 minutes.

And then add 4 oz of green beans. The recipe calls for fresh, and although there are some "fresh" green beans in the grocery store they're not in season. I used frozen for this and they came out a little tough and chewy.

And finally, about a handful of parsley and the juice and zest from 1 lemon is added just before the dish is finished. Naturally, I chopped the parsley a little finer and removed those big stems...also, I didn't have a lemon so about a T or two of lemon juice suffices.

I was really surprised at the goodness and depth of this dish for such a simple procedure and fairly ordinary ingredients. Maybe perhaps I'm learning to appreciate my food more since I started my (not a) diet a few days ago - things taste better because I'm trying to kick the habit of taking food for granted. Either way, yummy.

I got this recipe from Rachael Ray's Look + Cook which has a tremendous amount of photos of the recipes and even some step-by-step photos. I think I might be on a Rachael Ray kick for a little while.

2 T olive oil (I use vegetable)
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 garlic, finely chopped
2 stems fresh rosemary (I equate a stem as a tsp of dry, usually)
1 bay leaf
3 T tomato paste
1 15 oz can cannellini, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed
3 C (24 oz) chicken stock (or broth)
3 C water
1 C small pasta (Ditalini)
1/4 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
zest and juice of 1 lemon (or 1-2 T of lemon juice)
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
grated Pecorino Romano cheese (I used good ol' Parmesan)

Heat oil in soup pot over medium-high heat. Add celery, onions, carrot, garlic, rosemary, bay leaf, salt and pepper and saute 7-8 minutes or until veggies are soft. Stir in tomato paste, cannillini and chick peas and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken stock and water, cover and bring to a boil. Add pasta and simmer for 5 minutes. Add green beans and simmer for 4 more minutes. Turn off heat and add lemon zest and juice, and parsley. Season to taste.

Hope you enjoy!


  1. Pasta e Fagioli is one of my favorite soups of all time. This looks beautiful.

  2. I love this kind of food.... colorful, flavorful and healthy! Looks fabulous!!

  3. Thanks for the nice comments. :) I really appreciate these rustic Italian dishes that are more than just pasta and sauce.

  4. Another great soup!! it looks so fresh and flavorful, I would love a bowl of it right now, just don't forget the crusty bread!