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pasta with beans
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5 from 19 votes

Pasta and Beans soup (pasta e fagoli)

A tasty nutritious soup from Veneto, Italy, which is immensely warming, healthy and tasty! Perfect for colder weather family meals.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Italian, Veneto
Keyword: authentic Italian pasta recipe, pasta soup, pasta with beans, Veneto
Servings: 4
Calories: 603kcal
Author: Jacqueline De Bono


  • 250 g crushed tomotoes (9oz) polpa/ passata
  • 2 celery stalks medium sized finely chopped
  • 80 g pancetta (3oz) or guanciale
  • 400 g Borlotti beans (14oz) if using dried beans soak overnight and then cook in salted water for about 1 hour.
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 1 medium sized carrot finely chopped
  • 0.5 lts beef stock (2 cups) or vegetable stock
  • 1 small onion peeled and finely chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • black pepper/ salt to taste
  • 1 tsp rosemary fresh or dried
  • 300 g ditaloni pasta (10.5oz)
  • 50 g Parmigiano Reggiano (2oz) grated for serving if required


  • Dissolve 2 stock cubes in half a liter of boiling water.
  • Chop the onion, celery and carrot very finely (in a food mixer is good). Cut the pancetta or guanciale into thin pieces. Peel the garlic. If using canned beans, drain them.
  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic clove peeled but not cut and cook it until it browns, then remove it. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until the fat starts to melt.
  • Add the finely chopped vegetables to the pan and cook until they start to soften. Then, add a ladleful of the stock and cook the vegetables another minute or two.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes (passata) and salt and pepper as desired.
  • Add another ladleful of stock and cook for a couple more minutes.
  • Add the precooked beans and mix the ingredients well, whilst adding the last of the stock. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Put the water on to boil for the pasta.
  • Whilst waiting for the water to boil, remove 3 ladlefuls from the soup and liquidize it in a food processor until it's smooth and creamy. Then add this mixture back into the soup and stir well.
  • When the pasta is cooked al dente (according to the instructions on the packet), drain and add it to the soup.
  • Season with the finely chopped rosemary and pour into bowls. Add a little olive oil to the soup just before serving ( don't mix it in) and grated cheese if required


For a vegetarian version of this soup, just leave out the pancetta and use vegetable stock instead of beef.
You can make this soup with other types of small pasta tubes or even broken up spaghetti!
Dried beans need to be soaked overnight in cold water. Then drained and rinsed. Finally cook them for about 45 minutes to one hour in slightly salted water. When ready, drain and set aside to be used in the soup. Some people also add some of the bean cooking water to the soup. I didn't do this.