Pasta Fagioli

Who doesn’t love a good, hot dish of Pasta Fagioli or “Pasta Beans!” – as my grandparents used to say, on a cool fall or winter evening? My grandma used to say, “It’s not soup! It’s a dish!” Below is the recipe for the hearty Italian “dish” that I grew up with…

  • 5 cups small pasta – shells, elbows or ditalini work great!
  • 1 28oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 can of white beans, I used cannellini, navy beans work great too!
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • basil to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

In a medium sized sauce pan, pour in can of beans – juice and all, olive oil, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and basil.

Bring to a boil.

As soon as the bean mixture has started to boil, pour in your tomato sauce.

Place lid on top of pan and let it simmer on low for an hour.

When it starts to come up on an hour, boil your pasta in a large soup pan.

Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, use a ladle and reserve some of the pasta water in a large bowl. I usually reserve about five ladles full. This is done in case you need a little extra juice for this dish.

Take your sauce and bean mixture and pour into the pasta and water that is left over in the pot.

Cook for another 5 minutes – give it a taste. If it needs more salt or pepper, add enough to your liking!

If you think you need a little more juice, add a little to the pot before serving.

As the pasta sits in the pot, it will suck up some of the sauce and you can add the rest of the water to the pot for leftovers the next day!

Time to serve!! Sprinkle with Parmesan and eat!


Pasta Fagioli
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  1. 1 28oz can tomato sauce
  2. 1 can cannellini beans or other white beans
  3. 5 cups small pasta - shells, ditalini or elbow
  4. 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  5. basil to taste
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  1. In a medium sized sauce pan, combine olive oil, beans, garlic, basil, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  2. As soon as the bean mixture boils, add can of sauce and simmer on low for an hour.
  3. In a large pot, cook pasta to your liking.
  4. Once pasta has cooked, reserve about 5 cups of pasta water in a bowl.
  5. To the cooked pasta and remaining water, add your sauce mixture.
  6. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed.
  8. If it needs a little more juice add some of the reserved water.
  9. Enjoy!
  1. Since the pasta will soak up the juice as it sits, save the reserved pasta water until you have finished eating. You can add some to the pot if needed for leftovers.