Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

pasta e fajoli (pasta and bean soup)

(1 rating)
Recipe by
Theresa Powers
Boston, MA

Ok I have seen a lot of recipes here for this dish but mine is a little bit different. Not better, mind you, just different. This is the way my immigrant mother made it. She cooked it all afternoon on a cold day. I shorten the cooking time by precooking my beans in my pressure cooker but if you don't have one then just cook it until the beans are nice and creamy.

(1 rating)
yield 6 -8
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 3 Hr
method Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot

Ingredients For pasta e fajoli (pasta and bean soup)

  • 1 pkg
    beans (great northern or navy beans)
  • olive oil (enough to cover bottom of large heavy pot) i use a la cruset enamel pot
  • 1 can
    stewed tomatoes (crushed in blender or food processor)
  • 2 stalk
    celery (finely chopped)
  • 1 lg
    onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 c
    fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 c
    fresh basil (finely chopped)
  • 3 clove
    chopped garlic (you can never use too much garlic)
  • 3 lg
    carrots, peeled and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb
    small pasta (ditalini, tubettini, broken up spaghetti)
  • 1 Tbsp
    dried oregano
  • grated romano cheese

How To Make pasta e fajoli (pasta and bean soup)

  • 1
    Wash package of beans and take out stones if any. Put beans in a large spaghetti pot or pressure cooker and cover with water. Simmer while making starter sauce for bean soup. DO NOT ADD SALT AT THIS POINT. NOTE: To save time for this process I use my pressure cooker (which I love) and cook the fresh beans in that. Then the beans are almost cooked when you add them to your stock. I don't use canned beans because I think fresh beans add so much starch and body to this soup.
  • 2
    Starter Sauce: Pour olive oil into a large heavy pot (enough to cover bottom). While heating oil, chop onion, celery, and garlic and add to hot oil. Saute for a few minutes (about 10 minutes stirring occasionally so they won’t burn).
  • 3
    Add can of stewed tomatoes that has been blended. Saute another 10 minutes over medium heat and add basil, oregano and parsley.
  • 4
    Drain beans that have been simmering. They should be split by now. Discard water from beans. Or if you used a pressure cooker and the beans are done, drain and add beans to sauce. Add enough water to almost fill pan.
  • 5
    Add chopped carrots, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 2 or 3 hours or until beans become very creamy in center. Not sure about the time. I usually start this early and just simmer and keep tasting. I use my La Cruset enamal pot for this dish and cook it in the oven at about 325 degrees. NOTE: If you used the pressure cooker method for the beans then cook only for about an hour.
  • 6
    Boil a large pan of water for pasta. You can use tubettini, ditalini, small shells or broken up spaghetti for this soup. Cook pasta al-dente. Drain pasta and ladle into bowls first, then add soup on top of pasta. I usually top it off with a good bit of grated Romano cheese. Keep pasta and soup separate. Do it this way so if you have any soup left you don’t have a big blob when you go to use it again. Store leftover pasta and soup separately. I do this with all my soups containing pasta.