pasta e fajoli (pasta and bean soup)

★★★★★ 1 Review
oldmarriedlady avatar
By Theresa Powers
from 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 Review
serves 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.