Jennifer Alexander Ruple
Pasta e Fagioli, also known as Pasta Fazool, is a thick and hearty Italian soup. Its name simply means pasta and beans, but it’s also chock-full of vegetables including carrots, celery and onions. This soup can easily be made vegetarian by swapping the beef for two cups of fresh spinach.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Two 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
- 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 5 cups vegetable stock, plus 1 cup to thin soup
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 8 ounces small pasta such as ditalini or macaroni, uncooked
- 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 15-ounce can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh rosemary for garnish
In a large pot, cook ground beef over medium heat until it is no longer pink. Drain and set aside.
In the same pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. If using spinach instead of beef, add it to the pot now, and stir until it begins to wilt.
When vegetables are tender, add cooked beef, tomato sauce, tomatoes, stock, basil, oregano, rosemary, sugar and salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer about 15 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook for 10 minutes more until pasta is cooked through.
Stir in beans and cook until they are heated through. If the soup becomes too thick for your preference, add another cup of stock. Just be sure to adjust seasonings afterwards.
Serve soup with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, a sprig of fresh rosemary, and a hunk of crusty bread.