Pasta e Fagioli – Italian Bean & Pasta Soup
Pasta e Fagioli
Also known as Italian Bean & Pasta Soup, is the ultimate budget one-pot stew!
This has got to be one of my all time favourite meals!
A thick and filling stew, packed with good for you vegetables, two types of beans and flavoured with Italian herbs. Add in some Vegan mince for extra body, and enjoy with hearty pasta shapes and a sprinkling of your favourite cheese.
For soups or casseroles I normally choose Bucatini or Village Macaroni, Orzo or Rizoni, as they hold their shape and texture well and don’t turn to mush!
But for this bean & pasta soup, what I do to prevent my pasta from turning soggy is to actually keep it separate from the soup until serving. This allowed me greater freedom when choosing my pasta shape. And I like Big Pasta for this dish! 🙂
So for my version of Pasta e Fagioli I actually use Conchiglie ‘shells’. Each shell holds it’s own little pool of rich sauce and is definately more like a stew than a soup.
Fagioli – Beans
The traditional ‘Fagioli’ soup, is actually a version of my pasta sauce, to be honest! With added beans & lots of stock to make it soup-y.
And instead of spooning sauce over pasta, you ladle a lovely thick stew over your pasta.
So easy! And as it is a soup, it is much more filling. Perfect if you are feeding a crowd, or want your budget to stretch even further.
Traditionally, Italians have a side of extra beans on standby ready to be added to the stew, in case more people than expected turn up for dinner. So this has always been a crowd-pleasing dish.
Using tinned beans means you can use store-cupboard ingredients to make this soup. I use Kidney beans and instead of plain white beans, I use Baked Beans in tomato sauce (Navy beans), and it works perfectly!
This is such an easy dish to make and perfect for students on a budget. It is very impressive and you wouldn’t think that it was so simple and so quick to prepare.
A perfect meal-in-a-bowl, which is easily doubled to feed a hungry crowd, and it freezes well too!
This is also a fantastic one-pot recipe (see cooking tips) for Camping food – with or without the mince, and Camping weather is almost here! Woohoo!
Pasta e Fagioli - Italian Bean & Pasta Soup
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: 4-6 servings||Total:|
A thick and filling stew, packed with good for you vegetables, two types of beans and flavoured with Italian herbs. Add in some Vegan mince, for extra body, and enjoy with hearty pasta shapes and a sprinkling of cheese.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 ribs of celery (fresh or frozen)
- & some chopped celery fronds (fresh or frozen) - optional
- 1 carrot
- 1 tin baked beans in tomato sauce
- 1 tin kidney beans
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 vegetable stock cube/bouillion powder -
- Water to make up to 2 litres or 4 1/4 pints stock
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of mixed herbs
- 75g of Vegan Soy Mince - optional
- (NB: if you use frozen mince you cannot re-freeze this dish.)
- or 75g dry soy crumbles (Organic/GMO Free) - optional
- S&P to taste
- 500g Conchiglie Pasta - Shells, cooked al dente in salted water. SEE Cook's Tip!
- Chop your onion, celery ribs and carrot and add to a large pot sprayed with olive oil spray. Cook on a low heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, and add the pasta. Cook until it is just cooked 'al dente', with a little bit of bite to it still. Drain to keep it from going soft - See Cook's Tip!
- Add the tinned tomatoes and the two tins of beans.
- Pour in the prepared stock, or water and stock cube/bouillion powder.
- Add the chopped garlic cloves and mixed herbs.
- Season with salt & black pepper and slowly bring to the boil, then leave to simmer gently for approx 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- 5 minutes before the end of cooking, add in the Soy Mince or Soy Crumbles, if using, and stir.
- Taste, and add more salt & pepper if needed.
To serve, just put some pasta into bowls and ladle the soup over the top (see cooking tips). Sprinkle with your favourite pasta cheese.
- Mince: Using mince is totally optional, most of the Pasta e Fagioli recipes out there use just beans. I love the addition of the mince, but I also make it without and both are equally delicious!
- Hint: Turn out your hot and drained pasta into a roomy plastic container with an airtight lid. (Like a Large square Tupperware container, for example.) The pasta will not clump together or go soft as it cools, even if kept in the fridge overnight & it easily reheats the next day. The roomier the container the better, so you can divide it up and use several smaller containers.
- One Pot: If your pot is large enough, you can add the cooked pasta into the soup to make serving easier. Especially if you are planning on finishing the entire pot in one sitting! 🙂
This is an amazing meal, which is so quick to make and full of healthy food!
Cheap to make using pasta and tinned beans, and easy enough for anyone to cook.
A traditional Italian family dish, and everyone knows that Mediterranean cooking is awesome! 🙂 If you haven’t tried Pasta e Fagioli yet, I really recommend it. I hope you love it too!
All my meal ideas include at least one third of salad/vegetables and/or fruit with it, (this is the way we at Slimming World eat less without going hungry).
N.B. Any item with a * is a Healthy Extra on the Slimming World plan, so these must be weighed or measured and not exceeded, if you want to maximise your weight loss. Eating at least one third of vegetables (superfree food) at each and every meal is also key to this plan.
Please note that I am in no way affiliated to Slimming World, nor am I a Slimming World consultant, and still believe that the best way to follow this plan is to join either online or better still with a group near you.