Pasta e Fagioli
A simple, comforting soup that so wonderfully highlights the beauty and ease of the cucina povera
Recipe type: Primo- Pasta, Zuppa
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
  • 400 gr dried cannellini or borlotti
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • 3-4 stalks celery
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 250 ml/8 oz crushed tomatoes
  • Chili pepper flakes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 250gr short tubular pasta
  1. The beans will need to be washed and soaked for at least 8 hours in cool water (if you can try to change the water about 3 times). I have had much luck with simply soaking them during the day, even if I start prepping in the afternoon, otherwise just soak overnight.
  2. Transfer the drained beans to a large soup pot and cover with 5-quarts or so of water. Place in the pot ½ of the onion (whole, not cut up), 2 stalks of celery, a clove of garlic (whole), a sprig of rosemary, and the bay leaves. Bring this to a boil and then allow to simmer for about 45 minutes. Near the end of this pour in about 2 oz of olive oil and a large pinch of salt. When done, remove the rosemary stem, onion, garlic clove, the bay leaf, and celery stalks.
  3. Dice up the carrots, celery, and onions into small pieces. Begin sauteing the onions in about 2 oz of olive oil on medium-high heat till translucent and yellow, and then add the carrots and celery, and cook till tender. When done add this mixture to the beans and simmer for about 15 more minutes.
  4. Dice up the garlic clove and place in saute pan with 3 oz olive oil (a little trick I learned in Roma- allowing the garlic to sit in the EVO for a bit allows the flavor to build even more), and then strip the rosemary leaves off of the rest of the sprigs and dice them up and add to the oil along with the chili pepper flakes. Lightly saute this over med-high heat (just don't let the garlic burn) and then add the crushed tomatoes for a couple of more minutes. When done, add to the soup.
  5. Bring the soup back up to a boil and then add your pasta, reduce to a simmer and let it cook to al dente. Taste and season if necessary, and serve! Have olio peperoncino at the table!
Pairs well with a nice Italian white, a sparkly wine, and even a light red like pinot noir.

Add some sauteed kale in a olive oil and garlic and the dish becomes a full meal:)
Recipe by The Nurturing Hearth at