Enjoy this delicious well-balanced, satisfying, and hearty Pasta Fagioli (Italian pasta and bean soup) in as little as one hour.
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Mmmm. Pasta e fagioli…or as we say in my family, pasta fazool. It is a traditional Italian dish that means pasta and beans. In Italy, it started out as a peasant dish because of the inexpensive ingredients that went into making it. Now, this soup is a staple in Italian households and restaurants worldwide.
How much do I love pasta fazool? Last year, I had several surgeries that greatly limited my diet. I couldn’t eat fiber. That meant no beans. So naturally, that meant no pasta fagioli. I told anyone that would listen over a 4 month period, that all I wanted was a bowl of pasta fazool (and a salad, I had a mad craving for salad!). As soon as I got the okay to eat fiber from the doctor, I had a pot of pasta fagioli on the stove the same day. I still needed help to lift my cast iron Dutch oven onto the stove, but I missed it that much that I couldn’t wait any longer!
I generally don’t make it during the summer months, but once there’s a little chill in the air, I can’t wait to have some. Then, I’ll make it several times over the fall and winter. It’s comforting, delicious, and it will fill you up.
Italian Pasta Fagioli
My grandmother’s pasta fagioli took all day to make, much like Sunday sauce, but I just don’t have the time or the patience for that. This is my quick version of pasta and beans that will be on your table in about an hour, though it will taste like it simmered all day.
small pasta, cooked
finely chopped onion
finely diced celery
salt and pepper
grated romano cheese for topping
Variations for Pasta Fagioli
Dietary needs: This recipe can be adapted for many different diets by swapping out the regular pasta for gluten-free, whole wheat, rice, or veggie pasta.
Freshen it up: You can eliminate the canned tomatoes and beans and use fresh ones. You can choose to use fresh garlic and fresh oregano, also. I do all those things, on occasion, but this is my quick one-hour version.
Pasta: You can use any small-shaped pasta that you’d like. I often use small shells, Orecchiette, and Ditalini. It usually depends on what I have in the pantry.
Meat: Feel free to spice it up by using hot Italian sausage, or lessen the heat with mild Italian sausage. You could even use ground beef or turkey if you prefer.
Stock: Change out the vegetable stock for chicken stock to change the flavor. You can also increase the stock level for a more soup-like dish.
How to Make Pasta Fagioli in One Hour
Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure you have the pasta cooked according to package directions and that the celery and onions are diced. I chop them fairly small. You’ll also need to chop the carrots. I don’t chop them nearly as small as the celery and onion, but I do keep them bite-sized so that they cook evenly and quickly.
If you don’t own a Dutch oven, you can use a heavy stockpot. If you are looking to purchase a Dutch oven, this is the one I use and love (I have had it for several years and use it often, both on the stovetop and in the oven).
Heat the olive oil and brown the sausage (no casing). When done, remove the sausage and set it aside.
In the same pan, saute the diced onion and celery for 2 minutes. Add carrots and garlic and continue to saute for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then toss the sausage back in the pan and mix everything well.
Add in diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, and vegetable stock. Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Then cover the pot and lower heat to a medium simmer for 30 minutes.
Add in the cooked pasta, stir well, and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and ladle into a bowl. Top with grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
Be sure to check out some of my other delicious Italian soups:
Sicilian Fish Stew
Tomato & Fennel Soup
Italian Wedding (Escarole and Meatball)
This Italian pasta and beans soup recipe is hearty and satisfying comfort food, a quick and easy way to warm your body and soul.
When you give this delicious Italian meal a try, leave me a comment below!
- 1 lb Italian sausage no casing
- 2 cups small pasta cooked
- 1 whole onion finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery finely diced
- 3 carrots chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 32 oz vegetable stock
- 28 oz cannellini beans drained
- 28 oz diced tomatoes undrained
- grated romano cheese optional topping
- In Dutch oven, or similar heavy pan, warm olive oil. Add sausage, crumbling as you brown it. Once browned, remove from pan and set aside.
- In same pan, saute onion and celery for 2 minutes. Add carrots and garlic, continue to saute 5 minutes. Salt and pepper. Toss the sausage back in the pan, mix well.
- Add tomatoes, cannellini beans, and vegetable stock. Cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes.
- Cover. Lower heat to a medium simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add cooked pasta, stir well, simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Ladle into bowl and top with grated parmesan cheese.