Full of fibre, plant protein and flavour, this easy one pan Pasta e Fagioli is on repeat in my kitchen. It makes a warming and filling meal for chilly evenings, but is also summer-suitable because you’re not sweating over the stove for long. Nobody is upset about having just one dish to wash either!
Pasta e Fagioli: Italian Pasta and Beans
I first visited Italy in 2001, just after 9/11 actually, which was ‘interesting’ times for my first overseas adventure! Since then I’ve been six times, and on each trip encountered some variation of Pasta e Fagioli: literally ‘pasta and beans’.
The type of bean and specifics of the dish vary between regions, but Pasta e Fagioli is a well established staple, having sustained hardworking Italians since the 1500’s. Traditionally the dish is made with dry beans and slow cooked. I wanted to do this, but could I find a single dried white bean in Christchurch? No I could not, therefore we are committing the sin of canned beans. The pope will forgive, I imagine he’s too posh for beans anyway.
Let’s get into it!
Pasta e Fagioli: Step by Step
Assemble everything. Drain and rinse the beans and prepare four cups of stock.
Turn your oven to 190C (375F) and while that is heating, prep the veges. The flavour mainstay of pasta e fagioli is the holy trinity of carrot, celery and onion. Chop these.
Sautee the holy trinity in the french pan for at least 10 minutes to let the flavours develop. Finely chop the parsley and mince the garlic. Once the onion is translucent and starting to caramelise, add the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds, then add the parsley, passata and stock. Stir.
Add the passata and stock, the add the parsley, stir.
Add the pasta and beans, stir to make sure all the pasta is submerged.
Let that bubble for a minute, stirring to prevent sticking, then put the lid on the french pan and pop that in the oven for 30 minutes.
Check to make sure all the pasta is al dente, then serve and enjoy!
Pasta e Fagioli
- 1 French pan
- 2 Cans Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed (400 ml cans)
- ½ Cup Small Pasta (e.g. farfalline or coquillettes)
- 2 Large Carrots
- 1 Large Onion
- 3 Stalks Celery
- 4 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 4 Cups Liquid Stock
- 1 Bottle Tomato Passata (680g per bottle)
- 1 Handful Fresh Italian Parsley Finely Chopped
- ½ tsp Salt
- Shaved Parmesan for Serving
- Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F)
- Chop the onion, slice the celery into fine half-moons and chop the carrot into 1 cm cubes.
- Transfer the onion, celery and carrot to the french pan and sprinkle with the salt. Cook on the stovetop in a good splash of oil on a medium heat for at least 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should become translucent, a little browning is fine.
- Add the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds, then add the parsley, passata and stock. Stir to combine.
- Add the beans and dry pasta, ensure the pasta is submerged in the liquid.
- Let that bubble gently for five minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.
- Lid the french pan and transfer to the hot oven for 30 minutes.
- Check your dish, probing the pasta to ensure it is al dente, if not, return to the oven until it is.
- Serve hot with some slivers of parmesan to take it over the top.
- Don’t be alarmed if it looks like a lot of liquid. The pasta will absorb most of it and the end result should be neither ‘dry’ nor ‘soupy’.
- If you can’t find the mini pasta varieties, use a larger pasta, but you may need to increase the oven time and add more stock if the dish starts to look dry.
- If you’re a dairy eater, definitely try the parmesan on top. The combination of melty cheese and tomato is truly divine.
Tips for Success
There isn’t much that can go wrong with Pasta e Fagioli, however here are some tips to maximise your dish:
- Don’t skimp on cook time for the holy trinity (onion, celery, carrot). Waiting 10 minutes while those veges sweat out their flavour seems an age, but it’s essential. This stage sets up the flavour profile around which everything else revolves. Let those onions become glossy and slightly browned.
- I have seen recipes where the pasta is cooked separately in water then added. I find this creates an inferior flavour profile and is unnecessary. Cooking the pasta in the broth means every piece is soaked with flavour. Try it, you won’t go back.
- I’m repeating myself here, but if you do cheese, then please try the parmesan addition. Melty parmesan on top of pasta e fagioli will transport you straight to Tuscany, no jetlag required.
- Serve with a nice chianti and fresh green salad.
There’s a one minute video of the Pasta e Fagioli process on Youtube! Click here to view it. Note: in the video I added the garlic with the parsley rather than before adding the stock. This was simply because I forgot to add it earlier *facepalm*. Either way, it works just fine.
3 thoughts on “Pasta e Fagioli (One Pan!)”
Looks like a good recipe for dehydrating to take tramping. Thanks for the tips that will make a difference. Pikos used to have lots of dried white beans but I’m using dehydrated runner beans that are left when I take down the vines at the end of the season.
Hi Honora! Hope you are well :). That’s a great idea. I’m working on a collab post with Tania from Thrive Nutrition right now and will include some of her recipe for homemade dehydrated meals. I currently don’t have a dehydrator, but it’s on my list (just need to somehow create more bench space, argh).
We’re all good round here. Still getting into the hills to enjoy my dehy meals. I do my dehydrating in the garage! Looking forward to more dehy recipes.