Pasta e Fagioli

Rosemary and sage perfume this rich broth filled with beans and pasta
45 Ratings
89% would make again
Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Photo: Meghan Uno/Tasting Table

This classic Italian soup combines two of our favorite things—beans and pasta—in a rich broth, making it a complete meal. Smoky pancetta and bright tomato paste perfume the soup, thickened only by the beans and pasta cooked in it. Though it's typically made with ditalini pasta, we used small shells to scoop up all of the rich flavor, but feel free to use any small pasta your heart desires.

Soaking dried beans overnight is important so that they're nice and tender—but should you forget, you can do a quick soak. Bring the beans in a pot of cold water to a boil. As soon as it boils, remove it from the heat and let it sit for one hour. Drain the beans and continue with the recipe as is.

Pasta e Fagioli

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus overnight soaking

Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes, plus overnight soaking


3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish

2 ounces pancetta, minced

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cups dried white beans, soaked overnight

10 cups chicken stock

1 cup small pasta shells

1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Grated Pecorino Romano, for garnish


1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, carrot, celery and onion, and cook until golden brown, 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, rosemary and garlic, and cook until the tomato paste is caramelized and the rosemary and garlic are fragrant, another 2 minutes.

2. Drain the soaked beans and add to the pot along with the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Add the pasta and cook another 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the sage and season with salt and pepper. Divide the soup between bowls and garnish with whole sage leaves and grated cheese. Serve.

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