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Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e Fagioli

A traditional Italian soup to enjoy with a glass of Chianti Classico.
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Pasta e Fagioli
Author Jane, adapted from "Bon Appetit" magazine December 2018


  • 8 oz. dried cannellini beans
  • kosher salt
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large lee, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, coarsely chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/3+ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. applewood smoked bacon, diced
  • 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 rinds Parmesan
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 8 oz. small pasta, such as ditalini
  • finely grated Parmesan, crushed red pepper flakes, and crusty bread for serving


  • Soak the beans overnight in a large pot of water, cover with water by by 2 inches.
  • Pulse the carrots, leek, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped.
  • In a large pot with a heavy bottom, add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and season with salt and pepper, cook stirring often for about 4 minutes. The vegetables should be soft but not taking on any color. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, reduce the heat if the vegetables start to brown.
  • Add the bacon and continue to cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot every 5 minutes. The vegetables will start to brown in places and reduce in volume.
  • Wrap the bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary in a piece of cheesecloth and secure it with kitchen string to make a sachet.
  • Add the beans and their soaking liquid, tomatoes, kale; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the herb sachet and Parmesan rinds, reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer until beans are tender, for 1-3 hours, depending on the size and age of the beans. Simmer the soup with the lid slightly askew, add more water or stock if you need to, keeping the beans submerged by 1 inch.
  • Remove the Parmesan rinds and herb sachet.
  • Cook pasta in a large pot, drain the pasta 3 minutes less than the package directions. Add the cooked pasta to the soup.
  • To serve; divide among the soup bowls and top with grated Parmesan, red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Crusty bread for dunking.