Pasta e Fagioli or Pasta e Fasule, Pasta with beans as it translates is a traditional Italian homestyle soup that is belly warming, nourishing and tastes like a big warm hug from Nonna. My mother in law (Nonna) always makes homemade pasta with this dish. I use bought pasta most of the time you definitely can’t beat homemade though for a quicker alternative it’s still tastes quite similar.
Now that the weather finally has started to cool of a night here, it has me feeling like warm nourishing soups again. Packed with healthy vegetables to keep us fighting strong through the Winter months which is still going to be quite unpredictable for us here in Australia.
We have yet to go through a Winter with Coronavirus around and talk of a relapse has people on edge. Our numbers have been quite low luckily compared to other countries around the world for many reasons our hot weather being a huge factor. It’s important to be mindful of this and let’s not get too complacent especially now that the restrictions are slowly being eased. Keep eating well such as healthy nourishing foods to boost our immunity and keep our health in check.
This Italian favourite reminds me of mother the soup queen. My children absolutely love her soups, the flavours she can create from basic stable ingredients such as vegetables and herbs is an art in itself. Makes boring vegetables into something even the kids devour.
Traditionally Pasta e Fagioli is made with pork bones to flavour, mine is vegetarian but feel free to add it to yours if you like. The secret to a good flavoursome soup is the cooking time. Most Italian soups and sauces the longer you simmer them the better the flavours establish resulting in an amazing tasting soup. So this may be a weekend or when you have a day at home preparation. Alternatively if you have a slow cooker you can use that.
Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta with beans)
A warm nourishing homestyle soup that is belly warming, nourishing and tastes like a big hug from Nonna.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion or leek, diced
(500g pork bones or 1 smoked ham hock optional)
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 zucchini, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
bouquet garni of herbs fresh or dried (oregano, bay leaf, parsley, thyme)
1 can crushed tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
3 cups water
2 cans of mix of cannellini beans, borlotti beans and chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 cup pasta (small varieties such as ditalini, shells, risoni, orzo, tubettini) (you can use gluten free pasta or quinoa)
1 small bunch tuscan kale or chard greens chopped
optional grated parmesan cheese (for DF vegan optional leave it out or use vegan cheese)
- In a large soup pot over medium to high heat add olive oil, (if you are using pork bones add them here and cook until browned) onion, carrot, celery and zucchini.
- Saute for 3-5 mins until soften. add garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs stirring consistently for 1 min.
- Add tomatoes, stock, water, beans and bring to the boil.
- Turn heat to low and place the lid on leaving little a little open. Simmer for at least 1 hour though 2 is preferred.
- If you like a more thicker soup as I do I press some of the vegetables with a wooden soup against the side of the pot to mash a little making a thicker consistency. Or you can use a hand blender and pulse a few times.
- Remove bay leaf and any herb strings of thyme. (Also the pork bones if used). Add the pasta and kale and cook per packet instructions.
- Stirring occasionally. Check the seasoning and adjust if needed. You can drizzle a little extra olive oil in also.
- Spoon into bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese. Serve with some crunchy Italian bread.
- You can freeze any leftovers in portion size containers let it cool before placing in the freezer.