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Pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans)

Proof that good food needn't be fancy.

By Gourmet Food Team
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking plus soaking
  • Serves 6
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Pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans)
This soup is proof that good food needn't be fancy. Short pasta, earthy cannellini beans, passata, a top-notch stock, plus some gentle simmering results in this humble, soul-reviving Italian soup. Go hard on the crusty bread too. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the beans.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock (4 cups)
  • 600 ml tomato passata
  • 230 gm dried cannellini beans, soaked in cold water overnight, drained
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 230 gm dried ditali (see note)
  • To serve: finely grated parmesan, rosemary leaves and extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1
    Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté until tender (8-10 minutes). Add stock, tomato passata, beans and rosemary and cook until beans are tender (30-40 minutes). Add pasta, season to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (5-10 minutes). Serve hot, scattered with parmesan and rosemary leaves and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.


Note Ditali is a short tubular pasta available from select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute any small pasta.