Monday, April 18, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli

I got some fabulous dried cannellini beans from Carollo's Italian Grocery this weekend and the first thing I did when I woke up on Monday was put them into my crock pot to simmer all day so they would be ready to eat at dinnertime. Cannellini beans are some of my favorites, but it's sometimes difficult to find them dried rather than in cans.

Pasta e fagioli is a classic Italian soup, often made with parmesan cheese and day-old bread. I didn't quite feel like soup, so I made it as a pasta dish. Cannellinis are soft beans, so when they're well cooked they start to mash when mixed in with the pasta, giving the whole dish a creamy and rich texture. We ate this with locally baked flat bread covered with garlic butter and minced parsley and some Sicilian black olives.

I would like to dedicate this fabulous dish to my mother, who taught me everything I need to know about pasta.

Pasta e Fagioli
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini beans
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus a couple tablespoons of olive oil
  • about 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • about 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • about 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 8 ounces of short pasta
  • sea salt, ground black pepper, crushed red pepper
Bring plenty of water to a rolling boil and cook the pasta until it is done. Various shapes and types (whole wheat, semolina, fresh, quinoa, etc) have different cooking times so check your package. Drain when finished.

Meanwhile, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Saute the onion until it starts becoming translucent, about ten minutes. Add in the garlic, tomatoes, carrots, kale, oregano, thyme, basil and bay leaf. Cook and stir until the kale begins to wilt and you can smell the fragrant spices and garlic.

Mix in the cooked pasta, beans, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. Stir until combined and season liberally with salt, black pepper and crushed red peppers. Garnish each individual serving with almonds, green onions and parsley.

Sending this to Presto Pasta Nights, guest hosted by Three Cookies


  1. Wat a complete,filling and catchy pasta..

  2. Love it! I was expecting soup when I saw the title of your post but this looks way better.

  3. What a fabulouas dish,your mother is right in laugh when you cooked these

  4. how lovely! i love the kale, this looks so delicious.

  5. Oh, you can't go wrong with cannelini beans. I make them from dried almost every week.

  6. It looks really healthy :)

  7. looks delicious I haven't added kale with pasta before looks healthy

  8. I love that you took a traditional recipe and made it your own. Most of all I think it's great when you can add all those super nutritious foods into one dish and make it fabulous!