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Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)

Pasta e Fagioli, or pasta and beans, has been a go-to weeknight favorite of mine for the last decade. I could seriously live on this recipe. I have tried several variations over the years but this one, adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe, is hands down the best.

Pasta e Fagioli a simple dish that fills your home with aromas of rosemary and thyme, and is pure comfort on a cold day. Serve this pasta and beans with plenty of Parmesan cheese and good crusty bread for mopping.




Ready In:

35 Minutes

Good For:

Lunch, Dinner

Pasta e Fagioli Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 pound pancetta, chopped
  • Two 4 to 6-inch sprigs rosemary, left intact
  • One 4 to 6-inch sprig thyme with several sprigs on it, left intact
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf or 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups orecchiette pasta
  • 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • Grated Parmigiano or Romano, for the table
  • Crusty bread, for mopping

Cook’s note:

If you can’t find orecchiette pasta, any small pasta noodle (such as ditalini or fusilli) will work well in this rustic pasta and beans dish.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Heat a large dutch oven or deep pot over medium high heat and add oil and pancetta. Cook until the pancetta bits brown lightly, about 5 minutes.

Step 2

Add herb stems, bay leaf, chopped vegetables, and garlic. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Cook approximately 4 minutes.

Step 3

Add beans, tomato sauce, water, and stock to pot and raise heat to high. Bring soup to a rapid boil and add pasta. 

Step 4

Reduce heat to medium and cook soup, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente. Rosemary and thyme leaves will separate from stems as soup cooks.

Step 5

Remove herb stems and bay leaf from soup and add the spinach. Let soup rest and begin to cool for a few minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and top with lots of grated cheese. Pass crusty bread for bowl mopping.

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Love this rustic pasta and beans soup as much as I do? Then you’re sure to love my easy White Bean Soup too!