Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli is a very easy and tasty peasant dish.  My grandmother always called it Pasta Fazoul,, I guess it's just one of those things that depend on where you are from.  Every family has their own recipe but basically they all have pasta, beans and stock.  You can make this more soupy by adding more broth and thinning it out (don't puree the beans) or you can eat it thicker, the way I like it by following the recipe below.  Giada's recipe calls for red kidney beans but I know it to be traditionally made with cannellini beans so I used both (3 cans in total).  I love the color that the kidney beans give to the dish. 
Giada's recipe is very easy and spot on.  Any changes I made were minor.  I didn't make a bouquet garni and instead just chopped the herbs and added them to the pot.  I used 4 ounces of pancetta because that's the only size package Cittero makes (Steve wanted even more). As always I used Romano cheese for topping but that's just personal preference.  In the future I will use a tip that my friend Lucy of Sweets, Savories, etc., told me.  Instead of pureeing some of the beans at the end, smash up some of the beans while they are in the can using a fork.  This makes a smoother texture.  I didn't like how the food processor chopped up the pancetta with the beans.  Thanks Lucy for a great tip!  I can't wait to try it.

Giada's Pasta e Fagioli
by Giada DeLaurentiis

See this recipe on the food network by clicking here.


4 sprigs, fresh thyme
1 large sprig, rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 oz chopped pancetta
2 tsp minced garlic
5 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 - 14.5 ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup elbow macaroni
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


1.  Wrap the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth and secure closed with kitchen twine. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, pancetta, and garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, beans, and sachet of herbs. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the sachet. Puree 1 cup of the bean mixture in a blender until smooth*. Before putting the puree back into the soup, add the macaroni and boil with the lid on until it is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Return the puree to the remaining soup in the saucepan and stir well. Season the soup with ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.

2.  Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with some Parmesan and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil just before serving.
*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.



Ciao Chow Linda said...

Yes, everyone has a different method. A lot depends on what region you're from. In Padua, they make it almost like a puree. I love all the versions.

Jen_from_NJ said...

I love pasta fagioli. I have been in the mood for a nice bowl of soup. All I need is the pancetta!

Patti T. said...

I never ordered this out because I thought it would have all kinds of ingredients I wouldn't like. This sounds really good and the only thing I couldn't eat would be the onions which could easily be omitted. Thanks for another great soup recipe.

teresa said...

what a comforting dish, this looks wonderful!

Maria said...

Mangia! Mangia!
love it ... love it!

Rosabela said...

This brings back loooots of memories! One of my favourite comfort foods as a kid. :-)

Christine said...

YUM! One of my all time favorites. My mother made this often. Her version was very simple. Garlic and onion sauteed in EVOO then she added cannellini beans, she would mash them with a fork in the pan while they cooked. She always used ditalini or small shells. Oh I will have to make some this weekend! Thanks for another great post

DDpie said...

This sounds really good. I've been wanting to try out some new comfort foods this fall/winter. I'm sure I'll give this one a whirl. Thanks!

The Blonde Duck said...

Your cooking makes me want to be Italian.

Pam said...

This is such a hearty and comforting soup - looks great!

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

My grandparents always called it pasta fazoul too and made theirs with white beans - and spaghetti! They spooned the beans on top and it was very thick, not soupy at all. I bet this is just delicious! It sure brings back memories.

Spryte said...

I've never had that! I've heard of it... and it looks wicked good and so easy!

Stacey Snacks said...

I love Giada's recipe for pasta "fazool", I add the fresh herbs and I used dried beans, soaked overnight for a nice texture.
That cold weather is coming, time to make a pot!

Chef Chuck said...

This dish warms my soul!! Very nice:)

bella said...

Hi Michele, I make pasta fagioli very similar to your recipe; nothing like this soup! We simply call it past fazool in my Italian family. Love your blog and became a follower today,o you're on my sidebar though! I think I'll also grab your button for my 'collection'. Please stop by and pick up a blog gift for you that is on my post today. Amore e ciao, Roz