The more I cook, the more challenging, complex and lengthy my recipes get. But sometimes all you want is a quick “dump and heat” recipe for those busy week nights. This recipe totally fits that bill. Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list because the preparation couldn’t be any easier. Spend 10 minutes chopping your veggies and then just dump in the rest and heat it up. Easy.
Not only is this recipe super easy but I’m not sure if it could be any more healthy. I mean, you’ve got vegetables of every kind, shape and color, beans bursting with fiber and antioxidants and a complete, vegetarian source of protein (beans + pasta = complete protein source). The dish is colorful and fun which should make it a hit with kids.
If you want to put in a little extra time and effort, you can cook dry beans and add a few cups of each in place of the canned beans. This will reduce the sodium content and cost in one fell swoop.
Pasta e Fagioli can take many forms. I’ll list a few variations at the end of this post.
Pasta e Fagioli
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.20
- 1 med. yellow onion $0.45
- 4 cloves garlic $0.08
- 4 medium carrots $0.49
- 3 stalks celery $0.33
- ½ Tbsp dried parsley $0.05
- 1 tsp dried basil $0.05
- 1 tsp dried oregano $0.05
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper $0.05
- 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans $0.75
- 1 can (15 oz) white beans $0.79
- 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes $0.73
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce $0.29
- 1 cup frozen green beans $0.54
- 2 tsp chicken base $0.20
- 3 cups water $0.00
- 6 oz. dry pasta $0.70
- to taste salt and pepper $0.05
- 5 oz. shredded Italian cheese $2.32
- Chop the garlic, onion, celery and carrots. Place them in a large pot with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and cook over medium heat until the onions become transparent (3-5 minutes).
- Add the herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, red pepper), the canned items (beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce) and the frozen green beans. Drain the beans but not the tomatoes before adding to the pot. Stir everything together and bring it up to a simmer.
- Add the chicken (or vegetable) bouillon and 3 cups of water. Stir it up a bit to dissolve the bouillon. Add the dry pasta and bring the pot up to a simmer. Add a lid and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked. Stir the pot occasionally as it simmers to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom.
- Give the dish a quick taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Ladle the Pasta e Fagioli into a bowl and top with shredded Italian cheese (parmesan, romano or asiago).
Step By Step Photos
Start by chopping and cooking the onion, celery, carrots and garlic in a large pot with olive oil.
Cook them just until they have softened (3-5 minutes).
Add the herbs…
Give it a stir.
Drain the beans (but not the tomatoes) and add them all to the pot.
Also add the frozen green beans.
Give everything a good stir (it’s already gorgeous!).
Ditalini is usually used in Pasta e Fagioli but it was really expensive at my local grocer so I substituted this wacky mac. I thought the colors and shapes would look nice in the dish. Feel free to use any shape.
Add the pasta along with 3 cups of water and 2 tsp (or two cubes) of chicken or vegetable bouillon. Place a lid on top and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked. Stir it occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Give it a taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. Top each serving with cheese.
Special thanks to René over in Germany for suggesting this super hearty, pasta and bean stew!!
– Saute bacon or pancetta in the pot prior to cooking the onions, carrots, celery and garlic.
– Add a cup of white wine after sauteing the onions, carrots, celery and garlic.
– Add fresh or frozen spinach, kale or swiss chard
– Cook the pasta separately and spoon the “bean sauce” over top
– Add two more cups of broth to make this into a soup rather than a thick stew.