Our Mom's recipe for Pasta e Fagioli is a simple one! A delicious soup with tender small white beans, tomatoes, Italian pancetta, fresh basil and mini pasta infused into a flavorful broth is so good, it's perfect every time! This recipe is an oldie but a goodie and thought to revive it again from our archives.
Pancetta, an Italian cured meat, is used in this recipe and it gives a nice bacon flavor when it's cooked. We believe it's Mom's "secret ingredient" to her flavorful broth. So tasty, everyone will ask for seconds! And, don't forget to add some grated parmigiano cheese on top just before serving!
Here's a Tip: Quick and faster way to make this? I highly recommend using cans of cannellini beans. Just rinse before adding them to the broth. Freeze the leftovers for those busy days when you need something quick for dinner.
Italian White Bean Soup - Pasta e Fagioli
- 1 pound package white navy beans
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 onions - chopped
- 6 garlic cloves - chopped
- 3 to 4 slices Italian Pancetta - chopped 1/4-inch thick
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 1- (28 ounce) can of peeled tomatoes
- 1- (32 ounce) organic chicken stock
- 2 cups water - ( and 2 cups more if needed )
- 1 handful of fresh basil- chopped
- 1/2 pound Ditalini Pasta or any small pasta- (used Barilla Pasta)
- Grated Parmesan cheese - (optional)
Soak the beans overnight, drain then rinse. If you don't have time to soak beans overnight, then bring 6 to 8 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Boil beans for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cover, and let stand for about one hour. Rinse beans well.
In a large pot. Heat olive oil, add the onions, garlic and pancetta.
Simmer on low heat, and sauté until the pancetta has turned lightly brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the pepper flakes and sea salt. Add peeled tomatoes, chicken broth, water, fresh basil and rinsed beans.
Cover and simmer gently for about 1 to 2 hours until desired tenderness in the beans is reached. Bring to a full boil, and add Ditalini pasta.
Lower the heat and simmer for another 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the pasta is cooked to your preference. If you need more liquid while the cooking the pasta, add about a 1/4 cup more. Taste the pasta for tenderness, when pasta if ready, turn off heat and serve.