This authentic pasta fagioli is a simple soup-like dish of small pasta (Ditalini) and beans in a delicious tomato flavored saucy broth. It’s a hearty lunch or dinner dish. This comfort food recipe is ready in 30 minutes with 6 simple ingredients! Vegetarian
Why is it called pasta fazool?
My mom, who was an Italian immigrant (r.i.p.) from the Neapolitan area of Italy, made me this dish when I was a little girl. She had a way of making anything taste great. I have access to many authentic Italian recipes.
She called it “pasta fasule,” which is the Italian dialect name for this recipe. Americans call it “pasta fazool” because the “s” sounds like a “z” to those who don’t speak the language.
Pasta e fagioli means “pasta and beans.” It’s a rather simple dish with big flavor. It originated as a peasant dish made with inexpensive ingredients. Therefore, if you see recipes containing ground beef, that’s not how it was originally made. Of course, there are variations of this recipe both in Italy and in America.
How do you pronounce “fagioli” in Italian?
“Fa-jee-oli” is the way it sounds but, “fa-joli” works too. This is my own phonetic spelling of it.
Authentic Pasta Fagioli Recipe
My mom made this recipe with red kidney beans but, I like it with cannellini beans instead. It’s up to you which beans you want to use. I’ve included a list of substitutions below.
This recipe is easy-to-make!
The full, printable recipe is in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
First, make the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by adding olive oil, chopped onions, minced carrots and minced garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the carrots are almost tender. Be sure to cut them as small as you can to speed up cooking.
Then, add the canned tomato sauce, salt and pepper, stir and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.
Next, add the rinsed and drained canned beans and cook for another two minutes (to heat them.)
Last, add the sauce, beans, and water to the pasta and stir. If you want it less soupy, add less water.
Can this be a one-pot meal?
This can be a one pot meal if you cook the pasta first, let it drain and then cook the remaining ingredients in the same pot. Then, add the drained pasta back in and stir.
This is a wholesome and filling, comfort food meal. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top! Yum!
- Use orecchiette pasta or mini shells instead of Ditalini pasta.
- Pinto, Red or Dark Red kidney beans or Great Northern beans can be substituted for cannellini beans.
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More Italian recipes.
I took this recipe to Weekend Potluck.
Authentic Pasta Fagioli
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup onions
- 1/4 cup minced carrots
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 29 oz tomato sauce
- 15 oz cannellini beans, rinsed and drained or Great Northern Beans
- 1 cup water chicken broth may be used
- 2 cups Ditalini pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
- First, begin to cook pasta according to package directions then drain.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add oil, onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook on medium/high heat until carrots are almost tender- about 5-7 minutes.
- Then, add canned tomato sauce, salt and pepper to the onion mixture. Stir, cover and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Next, add beans to the tomato sauce and cook two more minutes.
- Then, add the tomato sauce, beans and water to the pasta and stir.