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Pasta e Fagioli Soup

This pasta e fagioli soup recipe is true to its rustic Italian origins as a thick stew of pasta and beans in a creamy broth. It’s a simple one-pot meal that’s incredibly economical.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course, starter
Cuisine: Italian
Total Price: $3.43
Price per Serving: $0.69
Servings: 5
Calories: 409kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion - $0.08
  • 1 medium carrot peeled - $0.16
  • 1 celery stalk leaves removed - $0.13
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil - $0.20
  • 2 cloves of garlic - $0.08
  • 2 (15 oz / 425 grams / about 3 cups) cans of borlotti (can sub pinto) or cannellini (can sub great Northern) beans, do not drain - $1.56
  • 1 cup (250 ml) crushed tomatoes - $0.34
  • Water as necessary - $0.00
  • 8.8 oz (250 grams / 1.5 cups) short pasta such as ditalini - $0.65
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste - $0.03
  • 1/2 tablespoon dark miso paste optional, adds umamai. See note - $0.17
  • Pepper to taste - $0.03

Instructions

  • Roughly chop the onion, carrot and celery. Place them in a food processor and pulse until very finely minced. You can also mince them by hand but they need to be very finely minced in order to meld into the stock.
  • Place the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat and add the two whole cloves of garlic. Gently fry for 2 minutes until beginning to soften but not brown.
  • Add the finely minced vegetables and gently sweat, stirring occasionally, until very soft - about 10 minutes.
  • Add the two cans of beans with the liquid from the can. The liquid helps thicken the soup but if it grosses you out you can rinse them first. Also add the crushed tomatoes and enough water to just cover - about 1 cup (250 ml).
  • Bring to a gently simmer and simmer for 15 minutes to reduce and bring out the flavour, stirring frequently so that the beans don’t stick to the bottom.
  • Remove the two garlic cloves. Transfer one ladleful (about 1/2 cup / 125 ml) of beans with a bit of the liquid from the pot to a food processor or the tall cup that comes with an immersion blender and blitz into a puree.
  • Add the bean puree back to the pot along with the pasta, salt, and enough water to cover and cook the pasta (about 2 cups / 500 ml).
  • Simmer until the pasta is al dente, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom, and adding more water if necessary.
  • Optional: put the miso paste in a small bowl and spoon over a few tablespoons of the hot soup. Stir to dissolve the miso paste then add to the soup.
  • Adjust the consistency of the soup to your liking if you want it a bit thinner. I added another 1/2 cup (125 ml) of water. Italian pasta e fagioli should be quite thick, however, so don’t thin it too much. If it’s too thin, let it sit for a few minutes and it will thicken up.
  • Serve immediately before the pasta soaks up all the broth. Italian recipes usually add a drizzle of olive oil and lots of pepper over the bowl.

Video

Notes

Pasta e fagioli is often made with pancetta to flavour the stock and some Parmesan grated over each bowl (although the most basic recipes are free from all animal products). I add a touch of miso paste to replace the pancetta and give it some extra savouriness and umami. It’s not enough to distinguish as miso, it just adds extra depth to the stock. If you don’t want to use it, you can leave it out.
Adapted from: https://tg24.sky.it/lifestyle/ricette/pasta-fagioli

Nutrition

Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 606mg | Potassium: 719mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2142IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 4mg