White pasta fagioli

Joined Nov 6, 2004
   Hi all,

  I'm looking to explore into the world of white pasta fagioli.  Has anyone got a good recipe that could prove to be a good point to start exploring the flavors of this beautiful soup?  

    I would prefer to use dried beans, but if the recipe uses canned I can substitute after I'm familiar with the recipe.  

   Thanks all,

Joined Mar 3, 2010
oohhh my favorite soup, i had a cook off with a freind of mine because it was such a delicious sooup. its pretty basic, chop some pancetta and render it then add vegis (mirapoix onion carro and celery but i like to add red pepper)and then once they are sweated add your liquid. you can add some parm rind in their aswell. cook and then add beans(canned) havent tried it with the dried onces yet. have the pasta blanched al dente and add to soup with the escarol i believe it called but we used spinach at the end. delicious everytime.
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
I put diced tomatoes in mine but you can leave them out if you want it to be white.  I don't put any measurements, just eyeball it.

- dry cannellini or navy beans

- ground beef

- chicken or beef stock

- pancetta or italian sausage

- carrots/celery/onion/garlic mirepoix

- a can of diced tomatoes

- parsley

- bay leaf

- parmesan rind

- spinach or escarole

- ditalini dry pasta

1. Soak the beans for 24 hours.  Change the water and bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes.  Drain and fill with water again.  Bring up to a simmer for another 15 minutes.  Drain but reserve the cooking water for later. Reserve the beans too.

2. In deep cooking vessel brown the beef and pork.  Drain and reserve.

3. Sweat the mirepoix then add the tomatoes and beef/pork.

4. Add the bay leaf, parmesan rind, beans, and reserved cooking water back into the pot.  Add enough stock as needed to make the soup.  Let it simmer for at least 30-45 minutes or until beans are very tender.

5. Add the pasta to the pot and let it cook through.

6. When all components are cooked take the pot off the heat and add chopped parsley and escarole/spinach.  Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and croutons.

I don't know if it's authentic but it's how we make it.  I have never added bell pepper but I think I will next time.
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Joined Nov 6, 2004
   Thanks for the help guys!

  I'm not sure what recipe I'll end up with...but I can tell you that I use both of your posts when I try to develop the flavors. 

  The example of white pasta fagioli I was impressed with seemed as if it used a nice balance of wine and broth...it almost seemed like a touch of dairy too...but I'm thinking this would have just been the starch from the beans.  

   I'm quite happy with the regular pasta fagioli that I make...but this white pasta fagioli...what a nice surprise.  


Joined Apr 3, 2010
My Sicilian friends who are here from Italy told me Pasta Fasulli is a bean based soup that is made when you want to clean out refrig. Similar to the French Cassoulet. Although you start making it the same way all the time the things that are dumped into it vary.
Joined Oct 9, 2008
Pasta e fagioli is indeed a clean-out-the-fridge thing, and every region has its own rough version of it. Basically the first-stated recipe is normal: sweat some veggies and some cured pork products (it's best with these, but it can be made vegetarian if you like), add beans and herbs, add water and simmer until the beans are just tender, add salt and simmer until beans are almost perfect, then add a handful of smallish dried pasta. A hard cheese rind (from Parmesan, one of the Pecorino cheeses, etc.) added with the beans and water will improve matters, as will simmering a ham bone in it. You can put almost anything into it; the only rule is that some vegetables should cook less time than others, and you should bear that in mind. For example, diced zucchini should go in near the end, with the salt, or it'll turn into mush. Tomatoes in it is, as far as I understand, one of those contested regional things. The really big question is which beans to use, actually, and again that's very regional. Pick whatever beans you like (though I'd stay away from black beans!), but I'd put kidney beans last on the list. Try cannellini, for example, or borlotti, or just grab some Great Northerns or Pintos or whatever strikes your fancy. In time, you'll come to like some beans better than others, which is perfect.

Four suggestions on serving:

(1) Everyone should be given the opportunity to grate on fresh hard cheese, grind on black pepper, and garnish with fruity extra-virgin olive oil.

(2) It's good the first day and better the second.

(3) In winter, water down the leftovers a tad and ladle over a thickish slice of yesterday's country bread, then wait a few minutes for the bread to get soft and tuck in.

(4) In summer, serve it at room temperature -- not cold, but room temperature. If you've used fresh summer vegetables, and serve it this way, it's a real old-fashioned country delicacy.
Joined Dec 4, 2009
Growing up in an Italian neighborhood, I ate lots of pasta e fagioli. It was pasta and beans.  Not a soup really, but rather a pasta cooked with beans in a lightly-creamy-almost-saucelike broth.  The creaminess came from the white beans in their own cooking process.

Grandmother Vittoria took dried white beans (they were like a large cannelini), topped them with an extra 2 inches of water in a stockpot and brought them to a boil.  After the beans boiled for a couple of minutes, she reduced the heat and simmered them on lowest for about an hour.  She then drained them and reserved the bean liquid (the creamy saucy broth).  No overnight soaking.

I don't remember exactly what the matignon was, but it started with finely diced pancetta (a real peppery one).  That was rendered and then she added chopped onions, carrots and celery; I think.  I do it this way plus I add a little fennel bulb.

The beans were returned to the pot with some bean liquid and cooked for another hour, more or less.  Sometimes chopped canned tomatoes were added, sometimes not.  The pasta ( a small but chunky type) was added near the end and given enough time to cook, along with some herbs (basil, parsley?; always fresh from the garden).

I'm not positive she put parmesan rind into the soup (I never saw her do it) but there was always parmesan to shred at the table.  And I know she kept the rind when the cheese was finished; what exactly she did with it, I never saw.

Grandmother also made lots of minestra (light soupy soups) sometimes with beans and/or pasta, minestrone (more stewlike) sometimes with beans and/or pasta, and ribollita with shredded kale, beans and bread.

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