Pasta e Fagioli

pasta e fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli (pasta with beans) is a delicious, hearty soup well known in both Italy and North America. In the United States, it’s sometimes referred to as “pasta fazool,” carrying the southern Italian pronunciation of the first Italo-Americans.

Pasta e Fagioli represents a great example of Cucina Povera (cuisine of the poor), being a traditional dish made with simple and inexpensive ingredients. Many important Italian dishes belong to Cucina Povera (e.g. ‘polenta’, ‘osso buco’, ‘pasta cacio e pepe’) – nowadays they are no longer made out of necessity, they are rather considered sophisticated delicacies.

There are many ways to make Pasta e Fagioli, my favorite makes use a particular kind of small white beans called ‘cannellini’ and a short pasta called ‘ditalini’, ‘tubetti’, or ‘ditaloni’ (as in the featured picture). This recipe uses tomato sauce, but there are variations without it.

Pasta e Fagioli

Yield: 2 servings

Total Time: 45 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Pasta e Fagioli


  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 60 g ditalini pasta (3 handfuls)


  1. Finely chop carrot, celery, onion, garlic and rosemary.
  2. Make a 'soffritto' (stir fry in olive oil, at medium heat, until tender).
  3. Add the cannellini (drained and rinsed).
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes and the vegetable stock; adjust salt and pepper.
  5. Simmer for ½ hr.
  6. Add the pasta and cook for another 10 minutes (or the time indicated on the box).

8 thoughts on “Pasta e Fagioli”

  1. And I can assure you it tastes even better 🙂 Any kind of short pasta will do, as long as not overcooked – you want some texture out of it. As for the beans, the flavor of cannellini is quite unique, but any kind of white beans could work as well.

  2. One of the most widely recognized Italian-American dishes….think Dean Martin had something to do with it. Although my grandparents were from the south of Italy and very poor, I have no memory of them making this dish, nor my mother either. Thank you for the recipe.

  3. My Grandma was from Salerno. Her pasta é fagioli is by far the best I’ve ever tasted💗
    Seems to me it was thicker & possibly a bit pink… Is it possible she added a little cream? Nonna took all of her recipes with her. My sibs & I try to authenticate as closely as possible.
    Can someone help me out?

    1. Thanks Julie for stopping by and for your question! My guess is that certain kinds of beans are a shade of pink, so maybe she didn’t use cannellini (which are very pale). As for the thickness, maybe she mashed half of the beans into a cream, or she simply let them cook longer?

    2. One of my favorite meals. She may have used potato. My family (Barese) always put potato in theirs, and it yields a thicker soup. We add tomato to ours as well but sometimes I make it without tomato (because I’ve ran out) and the hue is more pink. Maybe try it without tomatoes and add potato and see if it resembles hers more? Good luck! 🙂

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