Pasta e fagioli

29 Feb

I like to have a big batch of soup on hand so Christopher and I both have something that requires no more than a few minutes in the microwave to eat at work.

Chili is a favorite, as is some kind of chicken enchilada or tortilla soup or chicken noodle, which I recently made from two carcasses and some basic veggies from the fridge and freezer.

Pasta e fagioli might be a new favorite. Pasta e fagioli, or “pasta and beans,” is an Italian peasant dish and ranges in consistency from satisfying soup to hearty stew or pasta-and-sauce dish.


Pasta e fagioli

This soup is comfort in a bowl. Its bright, tomato broth; toothsome beans and creamy cheese tortellini combine for a warm, nutritious and satisfying soup, perfect for a cold winter night or a sick-day lunch.


1 teaspoon olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced rosemary

7 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 cups chicken broth

3 cups water

2 1-pound packages frozen cheese tortellini

3 cups cooked chickpeas (or other white bean; cannellini beans are preferred)

4 cups chopped spinach

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until garlic until it is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the rosemary, tomato paste and salt and heat the mixture until it begins to “melt” into a sauce.

Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Add the chickpeas, spinach and parmesan cheese and allow the spinach to wilt into the soup and everything to heat through.


I was so pleased with how this soup turned out; it’s so simple yet so flavorful and satisfying. Christopher and I gobbled this up in a week, and we looked forward to a bowl every day.

I definitely would prefer it with creamier cannellini beans, but I didn’t mind the chickpeas (They’re all I had on hand in the bean department.); they retained a little chew and offered a contrast in texture to the tortellini.


6 Responses to “Pasta e fagioli”

  1. The Weight Run Down February 29, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    Pasta e fagioli has been my favorite since I was a little girl. To make it as healthy as possible I make it with whole grain elbow pasta, add in chopped carrots and celery and I always add in cannellini beans (which I love).

    Your picture looks delicious!!

    • kaylabee18 March 16, 2012 at 10:04 am #

      I love cannellini beans, too, and wished I had had some. Yum!

  2. mindy @ just a one girl revolution. March 1, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    YUM! This sounds delicious and is making me crave soup at 8 in the morning!

    • kaylabee18 March 16, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      I highly recommend you make it, friend!

  3. Karin (mom) Herd April 7, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    I’ve made this soup a few times over the past few months & it’s one of our favorites too.

    • kaylabee18 April 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

      It’s super comforting. I was thinking of making it again this week, but I passed in favor of a similar soup for which I had all the ingredients on hand.

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