Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Fall is the season to braise, roast, and make soup. Nothing beats the aroma of soup simmering on the stove. It's the one food whose leftovers may be even better than the original meal. One of my favorite soups is pasta e fagioli, but not the nasty stuff they serve in most restaurants. When I am tempted to order it out, I always get a "look" when I ask the waitress if it's red or brown. I hate the stuff that is loaded with tomato sauce. A true pasta e fagioli has just a touch of tomato to enhance the beans. I also find that when you order this dish out, it usually has fat floating in the broth and it tends to be thin. My soup is so thick you have to thin out the leftovers. As delicious as it is, you can have it on the table in under an hour and that includes cooking time.

4 Hearty Servings
3 15-oz cans of cannelllini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 oz pancetta, diced
1 tsp each parsley, oregano, rosemary (you can use dried)
4 cups beef stock
2/3 cup diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb small pasta shells

  • Place 2 cans of the drained and rinsed cannellini beans in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the remaining can of beans

  • In a deep skillet over medium heat, warm half the olive oil and saute the onion for about 5 minutes

  • Add the garlic, pancett, parsley, oregano, and rosemary and saute for another 4 minutes

  • Add the rest of the olive oil, the beef stock, the diced tomatoes, and the bean mixture and bring to a boil

  • Season with salt and pepper (some people like to add a dash of red pepper flakes)

  • Add the pasta shells and cook until the pasta is tender (about 15 minutes)

If the soup is too thick, add water or additional beef broth. I served this with a salad of mesclun lettuce and garlic bread. We enjoyed the leftovers for the next 2 days.


  1. Hi Arlene. Great soup. I'm creating a list of soups to feed my family this Fall and Winter and this one makes the list. Love it. Thanks.

  2. i love your philosophy of "eat what you love and love what you eat." it's so true and a hearty soup like this definitely sounds good.

  3. Oh my, I love Pasta e Fagioli, and your recipe looks fantastic!! I'm looking forward to fixing it soon! (and the cowboy cookies look sooo yummy too... :-)

  4. Sounds good, except I don't know what pancetti is. I'll reserve full judgement until I find out what this is. LOL
    Love, Peg

  5. That looks so good! Truly soul-satisfying.


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