Pasta Fazool (aka “Pasta e Fagioli”) is a simple Italian soup with white beans, tomatoes and ditalini pasta. It’s hearty and flavorful!
Here’s why I love Pasta Fazool: because whatever texture I happen to be in the mood for – be it more like a soup or more like a pasta dish – it never lets me down. It’s always quick, simple, tasty and comforting.
There are a fair amount of ingredients in Pasta Fazool (also, and more authentically, called “Pasta e Fagioli”), however most are pantry staples that you’ll likely have on hand. Don’t turn your nose up at canned tomatoes, either; they’re much tastier than fresh store-bought tomatoes when not in season. (There a few things I almost always use canned: tomatoes, beans and artichokes are a few that I keep around.) Of course, when freshly-picked is available, that’s a different story entirely. Go for the fire-roasted tomatoes, too, they’ll up the flavor ante even more.
I mentioned adjusting the texture to your tastes…it’s easy to do this simply by adding more or less pasta (or more or less chicken stock, but then the seasonings need to be adjusted as well). Sometimes I prefer less pasta to enjoy my Pasta Fazool more like a soup; other times I want a hearty meal so I go for a thicker version. Do remember that regardless of how you make it, any leftovers (I double the recipe so I always have a lot of leftovers) will thicken as it sits in the fridge. Easy fix, though…just add more stock to thin it out the next day. If that fails, just add more bacon. Ha :)
- 1/2 pound pancetta, diced (or bacon)
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 15- ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 14.5 ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes, do not drain
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock, you can control the seasoning better if you start with low-sodium stock!
- 1 cup ditalini pasta, or other small pasta
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, plus more for serving
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, more for garnishing
- Preheat dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Cook pancetta until crispy; remove pancetta from pan, leaving drippings in pan. Add onion, cook until soft and translucent, about five minutes. Add basil, oregano, crushed red pepper and garlic, cook another minute or two. Add wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about another two minutes.
- Add beans, tomatoes and chicken stock to pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- Using an immersion blender (a hand blender - get one if you don't have one, they're invaluable!), puree the soup until about half is pureed (you want some texture left although you can puree the entire batch if preferred). Bring back to a gentle boil, add pasta and cook until just soft (check package directions). Stir in half of pancetta and all of parmesan and basil. Taste at this point (you want to wait to season until parmesan is added as it's salty) and season to taste.
- Ladle soup into bowls, top with remaining pancetta and garnish with chopped basil. Serve with a warm, crusty bread and enjoy!
Adapted from Food Network.