Indulge in the comforting flavors of an Italian classic that has stood the test of time – restaurant-style pasta e fagioli recipe.
Originating from the rustic kitchens of Italy, this hearty soup has earned its place as a beloved dish around the world. Imagine a steaming bowl of tender pasta, simmered in a rich tomato broth infused with aromatic herbs and spices, and studded with creamy cannellini beans.
Each spoonful is a symphony of textures and tastes, offering a perfect balance of warmth and satisfaction.
While this tantalizing soup has made its way onto the menus of countless Italian eateries, there’s no need to venture out to savor its flavors.
With our expert guidance, you can recreate the magic of restaurant-style Pasta e Fagioli right in your own kitchen.
We’ll unveil the secrets behind achieving the perfect harmony of ingredients and teach you techniques that elevate this humble dish to gourmet levels.
Prepare to immerse yourself in a culinary journey that combines tradition, creativity, and the joy of homemade goodness. Get ready to experience the soul-soothing delight of restaurant-style Pasta e Fagioli like never before.
What Is Pasta E Fagioli?
Pasta e Fagioli, pronounced as “pasta eh fa-JOH-lee,” is a traditional Italian soup that translates to “pasta and beans” in English. It is a beloved dish that originated in the rustic regions of Italy and has become popular worldwide.
This hearty soup typically features a combination of pasta, usually small-sized like ditalini or elbow macaroni, and beans, commonly cannellini or borlotti beans.
The soup base is typically made with a tomato broth infused with aromatic herbs and spices such as garlic, onions, oregano, and bay leaves.
Additional ingredients may include vegetables like carrots, celery, and tomatoes, which contribute to its rich and flavorful profile.
Can You Vary The Pasta E Fagioli Soup With Other Ingredients?
Absolutely! Pasta e Fagioli is a versatile soup, and you can certainly vary the ingredients to suit your taste or incorporate different flavors. Here are some ideas for variations:
- Vegetarian/Vegan Option
Skip the ground beef and use vegetable stock instead of beef stock. Add extra vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or spinach for added texture and flavor.
- Protein Alternatives
Instead of ground beef, try using ground turkey, chicken, or sausage for a different taste. You can also add cooked shredded chicken or diced ham as protein options.
- Different Beans
While traditional Pasta e Fagioli calls for red kidney beans and white kidney beans, you can experiment with other types of beans like black beans, pinto beans, or chickpeas to add variety.
- Additional Vegetables
Feel free to include other vegetables like mushrooms, peas, or corn to enhance the nutritional profile and add more color to the soup.
- Herbs And Spices
Get creative with herbs and spices. Consider adding basil, thyme, rosemary, or Italian seasoning to enhance the flavor profile. Red pepper flakes can provide a touch of heat if desired.
Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, or shredded mozzarella for added richness and depth.
- Homemade Stock
Instead of using store-bought stock, make your own by simmering bones and vegetables to create a homemade, flavorful broth.
- Prepare The Soup Base: Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it up into small crumbles.
- Saute The Aromatics: Add the chopped onion, slivered carrots, and diced celery to the pot. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly tender. Stir in the canned diced tomatoes, red kidney beans, white kidney beans, beef stock, oregano, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Scoop And Simmer: Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
- Blend The Soup: Add the chopped fresh parsley, Tabasco-type hot sauce, and marinara sauce to the pot. Stir well to combine. In a separate pot, cook the dry small pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- Finish The Soup: Add the cooked pasta to the soup and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, allowing the pasta to absorb the flavors. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Add more salt or black pepper if needed.
- To Serve: Serve the Pasta e Fagioli soup hot in bowls, garnished with additional parsley if desired.
- How To Prepare The Cream Topping: Preparing a cream topping for Pasta e Fagioli can add a delightful creamy touch to the soup. Here’s how you can make the cream topping:
Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings
- Meat Variations: Add cooked Italian sausage, ground beef, or pancetta for added richness and flavor.
- Vegetable Variations: Include additional vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, kale, or bell peppers to enhance the nutritional value and add extra texture.
- Seafood Variations: Consider adding cooked shrimp, clams, or mussels for a seafood twist to the traditional recipe.
- Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle chopped fresh basil, parsley, or thyme on top before serving for an extra burst of freshness.
- Parmesan Cheese: Grate some Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese on top of each serving to add a savory and salty note.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Drizzle a small amount of high-quality extra virgin olive oil over the soup for a rich and smooth finish.
- Garlic Croutons: Make homemade or use store-bought garlic croutons to add crunch and flavor to each bite.
- Red Pepper Flakes: Sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes for a touch of heat and added complexity.
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper: Add a few twists of freshly ground black pepper to enhance the flavors and add a hint of spice.
How To Make Pasta E Fagioli Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?
Yes, you can make Pasta e Fagioli soup in a slow cooker or Instant Pot. Here’s how to adapt the recipe for each cooking method:
Slow Cooker Method
- Follow steps 1 and 2 of the original recipe, sautéing the ground beef and vegetables in a separate skillet on the stovetop.
- Transfer the cooked ground beef and sautéed vegetables to a slow cooker.
- 3. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, including canned diced tomatoes, kidney beans, beef stock, seasonings, and marinara sauce. Stir well to combine.
- 4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours. This allows the flavors to meld together and the ingredients to become tender.
- 5. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the cooked small pasta to the slow cooker and stir gently. Allow it to warm through.
- 6. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed before serving. Garnish with desired toppings and enjoy!
Instant Pot Method
- Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function and heat the olive oil. Sauté the ground beef and vegetables in the Instant Pot until the beef is browned and the vegetables are slightly tender.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot, including canned diced tomatoes, kidney beans, beef stock, seasonings, and marinara sauce. Stir well to combine.
- Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
- Select the “Soup” or “Manual” setting and adjust the cooking time to 10-12 minutes on high pressure.
- Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow for a natural pressure release for about 10-15 minutes, then perform a quick pressure release to release any remaining pressure.
- Open the Instant Pot, stir in the cooked small pasta, and let it sit for a few minutes to warm through.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed before serving. Garnish with desired toppings and enjoy
Can I Use Store Bought Broth Or Should I Make My Own?
You can use either store-bought broth or make your own for Pasta e Fagioli soup, depending on your preference and availability of ingredients. Both options can yield delicious results. Here are some considerations for each:
- Store-Bought Broth
Using store-bought broth, whether beef or vegetable, offers convenience and saves time. It provides a flavorful base for the soup without requiring the extra steps of making your own broth. Look for high-quality, low-sodium or no-salt-added options to have more control over the salt content in the soup.
- Homemade Broth
Making your own broth allows for more customization and control over the flavors. Homemade broth can provide a deeper and richer taste to the soup. You can use beef bones or vegetable scraps to make your own beef or vegetable broth respectively. This option allows you to adjust the seasonings and ingredients to your liking, and it can be a rewarding and enjoyable process.
How To Serve?
- Serve It Hot: Pasta e Fagioli is best served piping hot. Ensure the soup is heated thoroughly before serving to maintain its comforting and flavorful qualities.
- Garnish With Fresh Herbs: Just before serving, sprinkle the soup with freshly chopped herbs like parsley, basil, or thyme. This adds a touch of freshness and aroma to the dish.
- Offer Grated Cheese: Serve grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese on the side, allowing individuals to sprinkle it over their bowls of soup according to their taste preferences. The salty and nutty flavors of the cheese enhance the overall experience.
- Provide A variety Of Toppings: Set up a toppings station with options like red pepper flakes, extra virgin olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper. This allows everyone to customize their soup and add extra layers of flavor.
Perfect Side Dishes
- Crusty Bread Or Garlic Bread: Serve slices of crusty bread or garlic bread alongside the soup. These can be used for dipping and sopping up the delicious broth.
- Green Salad: Offer a simple green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing to provide a refreshing contrast to the rich and hearty soup. Opt for a mix of greens, such as baby spinach, arugula, or mixed lettuces, and add some sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions for added freshness.
- Bruschetta Or Crostini: Prepare bruschetta or crostini topped with diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil. These bite-sized appetizers add a burst of flavors and textures that complement the soup.
- Caprese salad: Create a classic Caprese salad with ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic glaze or a simple vinaigrette for a light and refreshing accompaniment.
Storage And Make Ahead
- Make Ahead: Cook the beans and pasta separately, slightly undercooking the pasta. Combine with the rest of the ingredients except for the final cheese garnish. This ensures flavors meld beautifully while preventing the pasta from becoming too soft.
- Store: Cool the soup promptly and transfer it to airtight containers. It can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator if frozen.
- Reheat: Warm gently on the stove, adding a little water or broth if the soup has thickened too much. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- Serving: Reheat only the portion you plan to eat. Sprinkle with freshly grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil to refresh the flavors before serving.
What Can We Do With Leftovers?
Leftover Pasta e Fagioli can be repurposed and transformed into delicious new dishes. Here are a few ideas for what you can do with your leftover Pasta e Fagioli:
- Soup Revamp: Enjoy the leftovers as a quick and comforting meal. Simply reheat the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through and serve it as is or with a side of crusty bread.
- Pasta Bake: Turn your Pasta e Fagioli into a hearty pasta bake. Combine the leftovers with cooked pasta of your choice, top with grated cheese, and bake in the oven until golden and bubbly. This creates a new and delicious dish with a crispy cheese topping.
- Filling For Stuffed Peppers: Use the leftover Pasta e Fagioli as a filling for stuffed bell peppers. Hollow out the peppers, stuff them with the soup, top with cheese if desired, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through.
- Bean Dip: Transform the leftovers into a flavorful bean dip. Puree the Pasta e Fagioli in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Serve it with tortilla chips, crackers, or sliced vegetables as a tasty dip.
- Pasta Salad: If there’s a good amount of pasta remaining in the soup, you can turn it into a pasta salad. Toss the cooked pasta with some fresh vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Drizzle with a light vinaigrette or Italian dressing for a refreshing and satisfying dish.
- How To Make Butternut Squash Soup Recipe – Easy And Delicious - February 13, 2024
- Perfect Chinese Chicken Soup Recipe – A Delightful Feast - October 3, 2023
- Easy Red Pepper Soup Recipe (Sweet-Mild Flavors) - October 3, 2023