Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)

March 5, 2014

I love Italian food and Pasta e Fagioli  is one of my favourite dishes.  Pasta e fagioli means pasta and beans and is a traditional dish found all around Italy. I am a big fan of “cucina povera” the poor/peasant Italian cooking style and this dish is a typical example of this. It is very simple and uses cheap easily found ingredients. The ingredients and how it is prepared varies greatly throughout Italy, this version is the closest I have been able to recreate that reminds me of the Pasta e fagioli I enjoyed so much on visits to Southern Italy.

Pasta e Fagioli


400g can  Cannellini Beans (drained)

1-2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 medium onion diced

2 celery sticks diced

1 garlic clove peeled but not chopped

1/2 cup tomato passata/sieved tomatoes

( a spoonful of concentrated tomato purée mixed in hot water and made up to the 1/2 cup can also be used as a good alternative)

3 cups/700mls water

1/2 cup uncooked soup pasta/short cut pasta

Salt and Pepper to season


In a large pan add the olive oil and on a medium heat sauté the onions and celery for around 5 mins until soft but not browned.

Add the garlic and beans, stir well then add the water and tomato, cover and turn the heat up to medium to high and cook for 35 mins stirring occasionally.

When the 35 mins is up, add the pasta, season well and cook uncovered for a further 8-10 mins or until the pasta is cooked.

(Check the seasoning before serving up)

Serve in bowls and sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese if you wish!

Serves 2-4

Pasta e Fagioli

(This version below was made with tomato passata so is slightly lighter in colour to the above bowl which was made with tomato puree)

Pasta e Fagioli


  • Reply glitteringfuzz March 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious. I’m always on the search for the most inexpensive ways to give my family highly nutritious meals. Thanks so much for posting! The last picture with the cheese is totally making my mouth water.

    • Reply Mary March 5, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      Your welcome, hope you give it a try 🙂

  • Reply TreeClimber March 5, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    I really love pasta and beans. I also love Italian dishes. The photo looks quite appetizing and the recipe looks like something I could manage. I think it would go nicely with a chunk of sourdough bread.

    Is this to be eaten like a soup? It almost looks like a Minestrone to me. Though, it has more pasta than the Minestrone soups that I have tried.

    • Reply Mary March 6, 2014 at 12:09 am

      A nice chunk of bread goes perfect with this! I would say its definitely more of a thick soup consistency rather than a typical pasta dish.

  • Reply crazymomma December 17, 2014 at 5:00 am

    The pictures are making my mouth water. I love the simple Italian food. It always feels like a big hug for some reason. I’ve been collecting recipes that are healthier since my husband’s heart attack, but he doesn’t like most of the healthy alternatives. Plus, it takes a big chunk out of a budget when you have certain dietary restrictions. This looks like something that will make us both happy! He’ll have a substantial meal, I’ll know it’s healthy, and as an added bonus it will be easy on the budget.

    • Reply Mary December 18, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      This is a very healthy and cheap recipe so ideal for you 😉

  • Reply Teacakes2440 May 11, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I grew up in a town that had a sizable ethnic Italian community. As a result, I was the frequent dinner guest of friends whose family members were masters of real old-school Italian cooking. Pasta e fagioli is a personal favorite, real Italian comfort food. I no longer live there, and wasn’t wise enough to capture those recipes when I was younger. This sounds exactly like authentic pasta e fagioli, and I will definitely be trying this recipe asap!

    • Reply Mary May 22, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      This is as close as I can ever get to the taste of southern Italy I remember, hope it is a success for you enjoy 😉

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