Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli means "pasta and beans." It is a hearty tomato-based soup with - you guessed it - pasta and beans. The versions I have had have also always had Italian sausage in it. Yummy! I first came across it at the Olive Garden and it was one of my favourite things there.

On a side note - did you hear of the elderly lady who provided a glowing review of the fresh new restaurant in her town, which turned out to be an Olive Garden? People made fun of her, but I'm totally with her. The Olive Garden in my hometown is still one of my favourite places to eat when I go home to visit - and I make a lot of Italian dishes on my own and have an Italian mother-in-law who makes many delicious things from scratch. Just saying....

But anyway, back to this soup. I can't even remember what recipe I used for the first time that I made it myself, but it was probably from a cooking show like Giada de Laurentiis' Everyday Italian or something. I've made this soup so many times now that I'm not even sure how true to the original it is (my guess is probably not at all) but regardless of whether or not it's traditional or authentic, it is delicious and that's what matters! I would highly recommend it, especially on a dreary and cold day like today. That's right, reality has set in and our 20-plus temperatures have left us...for now. Please come back again soon!

  • 1 hot Italian sausage, casing removed and roughly chopped (use a mild one if you're not a fan of spice)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • A few tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 can of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (I use the kind that comes with herbs and spices in it)
  • 900 mL or around 30 ounces of beef broth
  • 1 or 2 ounces of cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of small pasta like ditalini or baby shells
  • Salt and pepper to taste

If you like (and I do, but I forgot to add it this time - foolish!), fry a couple of pieces of bacon in and then chop it up. If you want a bit more flavour, you can use a bit of the drippings in addition to the olive oil to fry the rest of the ingredients. If you want to fry the bacon with the rest of the ingredients, don't fry it until it's completely crisp, but leave it a bit undercooked so it can finish with everything else.

Heat the olive oil in a pot.  Saute the onions and garlic until they have started to soften. Add the Italian sausage (and bacon, if you used it) and cook until everything is nicely browned. 

Add some beef broth to the pot and remove the brown bits from the bottom. Add the rest of the broth, as well as the diced tomatoes (with the juices) and the kidney beans. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

I like to chop some cheddar pieces into the soup and stir it in. It just incorporates into the soup, but be sure to give it a good stir otherwise the cheese can end up sticking to the bottom of your pot. I don't think this is at all part of the traditional recipe (neither is bacon), but I find it softens the tanginess of the tomatoes, and in my books, cheese makes almost anything tastier, so I never skip this step! 

Add the pasta to the soup and simmer for another 20 or 30 minutes, or until the pasta has softened. If you have more time, I find it does add to the taste of the soup to simmer it longer, and it helps the tomatoes break up better. If you have the time, hold off on adding the pasta until you've simmered it for a while longer (otherwise you'll get mushy pasta, which is not so tasty).

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with some crusty Italian bread.


I also wanted to mention that I will be participating in Simply Klassic Home's Beginner Bloggers Club and am very excited! It starts in just over a week, and will include featured beginner bloggers, as well as helpful tips and tricks from experienced bloggers. Please stop by Simply Klassic Home and check it out!


I will also be blogging very soon about some lovely awards that I received from Jutta at Creative Chaos and from Kristin at Grateful Belly. Thank you, ladies!


Inspired By Felicity Blog   UndertheTableandDreaming      Mixitup

StoneGable      Our Delightful Home

I also shared this on Scrumptious Sunday on Addicted to Recipes!


  1. Yum! That looks so good. It would be perfect for those "not quite spring, but technically not really winter" kind of days.

  2. Your soup looks delish, I saw it at addicted to recipes so coming over to say hello. I have a few soups on my blog and this is one. I have 2 more too post very soon. I love soup. nice post. andi

  3. This recipe looks great - we'd love for you to share it at our Beautify It Monday Link party going on now!

  4. Yummy! I would love for you to link up at my Linky Party via:

    PS: I am your newest Linky Follower!

    Mrs. Delightful

  5. Just made a version of this soup last night - we must be on the same wave length. Yours looks delicious.

  6. um...this looks delicious. I love the Olive Garden too. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Can't wait to try this.

  7. This looks very yummy! And for sure a little bacon is a great idea (bacon makes everything better!). Thank you so much for sharing at Scrumptious Sunday! Have a super night!

  8. Oh well now that looks like a hearty, warm you up kind of meal! I love Olive Garden; they have the best soup!

    Thanks for sharing at Simply Klassic! And I'm excited to have you as part of the BBC!!

  9. This is one of my all-time favorite soups!!

  10. This looks really yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  11. Hi...I came over via Mix it up Monday. My hubby and I love Olive Garden, and their version of this soup. I think yours sounds really good, and will try it. I am a new follower. Patsy

  12. With and Italian mom this is definitely one of our favorite soups!

    Thanks for sharing and Beautify It Monday!

  13. Mmmm..Looks delicious. Thanks for linking up to our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We love having you and hope you'll be back next week! -The Sisters

  14. holy deliciousness. get in mahhhh belly!

    hope you'll visit soon--a great giveaway hapenning:




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