Soothing the Soul with Soup: Pasta e Fagioli
You might know it as something you can order a bottomless bowl of at the Olive Garden, but to me, Pasta e Fagioli (or pasta fazool as it’s said in my house) is better than chicken soup for the soul. Despite my Italian mother, I didn’t have this growing up, it’s something I fell in love with later in life.
Pasta e fagioli literally means “pasta and beans” and historically was one of those dishes that was eaten by the poor as it’s made up of pretty inexpensive ingredients – tomatoes, beans, pasta. Most of the time the soup includes cannellini beans, but can be made up of any bean, pasta and stewed tomatoes.
I think my love for this soup comes from the tomato base and the use of beans. The pasta adds a little “sumthin sumthin,” but I could honestly makes this without one little piece of macaroni and still love it. Of course, if you add hot italian sausage to just about anything, it’s a safe bet that I’ll love it. It’s hearty, it’s filling, it’s spicy, it’s warm, it’s heaven. And since it can be made in about 25 minutes – it’s perfect for my crazy house.
This soup is not a favorite of the weeone. I likely made the pasta e fagioli a bit too spicy on this particular night (you can tone down the heat by using sweet italian sausage or a combo of sweet and hot) and she opted to go make herself a pb&j. As long as *I* don’t have to make a second meal, it’s all good. It simply meant there were more leftovers for me for lunches that week!
“When the soup makes you drool, like a pasta fazool, that’s amore!”
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: 1 cup
- Calories: 325
- Fat: 10.2g
- Saturated fat: 2.9g
- Unsaturated fat: 6.4g
- Carbohydrates: 43.5g
- Sodium: 740mg
- Fiber: 4.8g
- Protein: 20.5g
- Cholesterol: 33mg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
- ½ cup finely diced white onions
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup water
- 1 (16-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 1 cup uncooked small pasta (shell or elbow macaroni)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
- 2½ teaspoons dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
- Chopped Fresh parsley
- Crushed red pepper (to taste)
- In a soup pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, then add sausage, onions and garlic, cooking for 3-4 minutes or until the sausage is browned and the onions softened. Use a spatula end to crumble the sausage as it cooks.
- Add the water, chicken broth and tomato sauce to the sausage, onions and garlic and bring it to a boil.
- Add the pasta to the soup as well as ¼ cup of the cheese, the oregano, salt, pepper and beans.
- Cover the soup pot and reduce the heat to medium-low, simmering for 7-10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Do not overcook your pasta!
- Top each 1 cup serving with cheese, parsley and crushed red pepper to taste.desired.