suggested video
suggested video

Pasta e Fagioli: the original recipe of the traditional Italian pasta and beans

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Pasta e fagioli, or just pasta fagioli, is a classic Italian soup made with creamy beans, tender short pasta, tomatoes and bacon.

This rich, hearty recipe is known with different names, in Italian it is called pasta e fagioli, in English pasta and beans or even pasta fazool in the Italian-American dialect because it refers to the traditional Neapolitan name pasta e fasule.

Perfect for any occasion and super easy to make, pasta fagioli is a traditional peasant dish as it calls for humble ingredients. Pasta and beans is a comfort food that, at the first taste, immediately brings to mind the tables of grandmothers and the flavors of the past. On the other hand, it is also a nourishing and balanced recipe.

It is a soup that belongs to the poor cuisine, but so tasty and genuine that it has been able to win over the most demanding and refined palates. You can serve it as a main pasta course at a family lunch or as a single dish for an evening when you want to pamper yourself with a warm, full-bodied and richly flavored dish.

So let’s find out how to make pasta and beans by following our recipe step by step.


Pasta Fagioli vs Minestrone Soup

The recipe of pasta fagioli uses vegetables, however it is a different recipe from the classic minestrone soup, although both are typical Italian soups.

Minestrone is more liquid and has a very wide variety of vegetables. On the other hand, pasta fagioli is stew-like thicker and gives prominence to the beans.

Homemade Pasta e Fagioli Ingredients

Short pasta – it's important to use short pasta when making pasta fagioli. Ditalini pasta is a classic choice, but you can also use tubetti, elbow macaroni, or cannolicchi.

Beans – use a mix of beans for a flavorful dish.

Tomato – it adds color to your pasta fazool.

Bacon – it adds more flavor to the dish. According to the Italian tradition, you can use pork rinds, lard, raw ham or sausage.

Broth – vegetable broth is perfect for making this pasta fagioli soup.

Tips for making Traditional Italian Pasta and Beans

If you want to thicken your pasta e fagioli, blend a part of the beans before adding the pasta. You can also let the soup rest in the refrigerator for a few hours or add the starch.

To make this recipe a delicious vegetarian dish, just remove the bacon and enrich the initial sauté with a chopped onion and carrot.

If you want to enjoy a white pasta fagioli, leave out tomatoes.

For a Olive Garden pasta e fagioli copycat, use fresh herbs, ground beef or Italian sausage, onion and carrots.

You can make the pasta and beans with canned beans or boil the dry ones beforehand. The important thing is to create a mix of cannellini beans and borlotti beans.

What to serve with Pasta Fazool

You can serve pasta fazool with homemade breadsticks, crusty bread or garlic bread.

How to store Italian Pasta and Beans

Pasta and beans is a dish that can be eaten even the day after its preparation; just close it in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator, for a maximum of 2 days.

Can you freeze Pasta Fagioli?

Yes! You can freeze homemade pasta e fagioli without pasta for up to 3 months, closed in an airtight container.

Thaw it overnight, make the pasta and reheat the bean soup on the stovetop over medium heat.

Another recipe you need to try


boiled mixed beans
600 g
Short pasta
320 g
Tomato sauce
250 ml
smoked bacon, diced
50 g
2 liters
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves


Heat the extra virgin olive oil with the garlic and rosemary in a saucepan. Add the bacon and let it brown until crisp 1. Then remove it from the pan.

Add the tomato sauce and cook 2.

Also add the beans 3, pour the broth and cook for 20 minutes.

At this point, remove a third of the beans and blend it with an immersion mixer. Then put the cream obtained back into the saucepan 4, along with the bacon.

Pour in the pasta 5 and cook, adding hot broth if necessary. Season with salt.

Season with ground pepper and serve the pasta and beans very hot 6.

Every dish has a story
Find out more on Cookist social networks
api url views