Pasta e Fagioli

This Italian American version of Pasta e Fagioli is rustic and comforting in the best possible way!  It’s perfect for chilly Autumn evenings!

This Italian American version of Pasta e Fagioli is rustic and comforting in the best possible way!  It's perfect for chilly Autumn evenings!In an odd sort of way, I have to credit large, American chain restaurants for this delicious recipe.  I’m not kidding when I say that this Pasta e Fagioli is an all-time favorite.  I’ve made it a number of times, and I never (ever!) get tired of eating it.  The Italian sausage combined with the beans and pasta brings a whole array of delicious flavor to a bowl of this Pasta e Fagioli.  I almost always go back for seconds when I’ve got a fresh pot of this one sitting on the stovetop.

This Italian American version of Pasta e Fagioli is rustic and comforting in the best possible way!  It's perfect for chilly Autumn evenings!But back to that American chain restaurants thing.  You see, Pasta e Fagioli is a quintessential peasant food.  Italian in origin, this recipe originally began as its translation – ‘pasta and beans.’  It was a rustic soup made from cheap and plentiful ingredients.  Then Olive Garden came along.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I have no issues with Olive Garden.  Their endless soup and salad (and occasionally endless pasta) is a fun way to mix up the normal routine.  In fact, I have a copycat recipe for Olive Garden Breadsticks that I’ll be sharing sometime soon.  But Olive Garden changed Pasta e Fagioli…and I would argue that it got changed in a good awesome way!

This Italian American version of Pasta e Fagioli is rustic and comforting in the best possible way!  It's perfect for chilly Autumn evenings!Pasta e Fagioli

Unlike the traditional Italian version of this recipe, this American Italian version includes sausage and tomato sauce.  The browned Italian sausage in this recipe brings a ton of flavor!  Every bite has a deep, rich flavor…even if there’s no sausage in that bite.  And to think there was a time I didn’t like Italian sausage…  (In truth, it was the fennel.  However, I’ve come to enjoy fennel now.)  I used mild Italian sausage here because the store was all out of bulk hot Italian sausage.  Either hot or mild would work well based on your preferences for spicy food.

This Italian American version of Pasta e Fagioli is rustic and comforting in the best possible way!  It's perfect for chilly Autumn evenings!This soup is traditionally made with dried cranberry beans, or borlotti.  However, cranberry beans aren’t all that easy to find in upstate New York.  I’m sure I could’ve ordered ’em on Amazon (you can literally order anything on Amazon, right?), but I opted for the easier route.  I grabbed a couple cans of cannellini beans instead.  The creaminess of the beans along with the sausage and pasta makes for a dish with a variety of textures.  It works!  It works so well that I want to go get another bowl right now – with my morning coffee.  (Haha.  I kid…sorta.)

Ditilini is the most common type of pasta used in Pasta e Fagioli, however any small pasta would work.  I like to use ditalini in my classic macaroni salad recipe (another household favorite!), and I’ve found that it’s fairly common around here.  If ditalini isn’t available in your area, I recommend using small macaroni or orzo.

This Italian American version of Pasta e Fagioli is rustic and comforting in the best possible way!  It's perfect for chilly Autumn evenings!So while this version of Pasta e Fagioli might have evolved into something a bit more than a basic vegetable soup, I promise that it’s a good one!  It’s the ultimate of comfort food.  And now you can have “endless soup” nights in your own house!

Did you make a pot of this Pasta e Fagioli in your house?  Leave a comment, or better yet snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  Enjoy!

This Italian American version of Pasta e Fagioli is rustic and comforting in the best possible way!  It's perfect for chilly Autumn evenings!

Pasta e Fagioli

This Italian American version of Pasta e Fagioli is rustic and comforting in the best possible way!  It's perfect for chilly Autumn evenings!
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 597kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. bulk Italian sausage mild or spicy
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasonings
  • 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 15.5-oz. cans cannellini beans, undrained
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta or another small pasta
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for finishing
  • freshly chopped Italian parsley for finishing

Instructions

  • Place a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes. Leave sausage in pot, but drain excess fat.
  • Add olive oil along with onion, carrots and celery; stir until well combined. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 more minutes.
  • Add garlic, stir until well combined. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans and chicken stock; stir until well combined. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add pasta; stir until well combined. Boil for 8-9 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.
  • Divide into bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped Italian parsley.

This Italian American version of Pasta e Fagioli is rustic and comforting in the best possible way!  It's perfect for chilly Autumn evenings!

Looking for more Italian-inspired soups and stews?  Check out these other favorites:

This Tomato Florentine Soup is packed with tons of flavor...and it's ready in less than 30 minutes!  It's a great way to warm up on a cold day!Tomato Florentine Soup

Loaded with bell peppers and seasonings, this Stuffed Pepper Soup is a great way to warm up on a chilly day!Stuffed Pepper Soup

Love lasagna? Then you'll love this Lasagna Soup! It's perfect for a cold winter day!Lasagna Soup

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34 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We don’t dine out often (Mostly when we travel), but what we have learned from our experience is that we shouldn’t order pasta, even though we love it a lot. You can make pasta so much better yourself and pay significantly less for it – pasta prepared by professional chefs is often bland and lacking of everything. That could be the right way an authentic Italian pasta dish should be, but we still prefer a homemade version. But the strangest thing is that the pasta we enjoyed the most (99%) was not served at a claimed-to-be- authentic Italian restaurant but a cheap chain place in Niagara Falls (Canada); that was a cozy and home-style cuisine.
    Next, I do believe peasant food is one of the most delicious (not necessary healthy). That’s basically all the starchy and hearty ingredients perfect for comfort meals. Served with bread – who can resist?
    lastly, this Pasta e Fagioli looks and sounds delish! No wonder – pasta, beans. tomatoes, sausage, and cheese. What can go wrong? I know what – Andrew is skeptical about combining pasta (and pizza) with other starchy components like beans and potatoes. Well, I might need to suffer enjoying all the Pasta e Fagioli by myself 🙂

    1. Yes! We totally agree with you about ordering pasta when you go out to eat. The only exception we make is if the pasta is homemade. That’s a game-changer!

      You should totally introduce Andrew to the combination of pasta and beans in this recipe, Ben. It’s an easy soup to make, and it’s perfect for this time of the year! And if he still doesn’t like the idea? Then as you said, more for you!

  2. 5 stars
    ‘Endless soup’ nights sounds pretty good to me 😉 Love pasta e fagioli and this looks super good, David! Talk about hearty too. With the weather getting cooler, I’m craving all sorts of comfort food. I’d much rather stay home and make a big batch of this than go to any restaurant. For reals! Pinned 🙂 Have a great weekend, my friend!

    1. I’m right there with ya on the comfort foods, Dawn! We’re really excited that soup season is back. (Of course, I can hold off on cold winter days…not ready for those!) This soup is quite easy to make, and it’s an amazing comfort food for chilly nights. 🙂

    1. The Italian sausage adds so much flavor to this soup, too. I hope you get a chance to make this one, Kathy! It’s a favorite around here, and I was just telling Laura this morning that I’m craving another batch of it.

  3. It’s so strange to realize that I haven’t made this for years. I must have discovered this recipe early on when I was working my way through International cookbooks, learning how to cook. My husband loved it. Now I do more “inspired” cooking of various beloved cuisines, unless I’m making something specific for the blog. I am going to make this and my husband will be so happy! I’ve always loved pasta with beans.

    1. I do hope you get the chance to make this soup, Mimi! Olive Garden inspired this one, but it’s so much better to make at home. Pasta with beans in soup form is one heck of a comfort food! Now it just needs to get chilly down there where you live, right? 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    David, I’m sitting here just prior to dinner with my stomach growling with hunger looking at your Pasta e Fagioli soup. Looks so warming and yummy on this cold and wet fall night.
    This was my go-to soup when I’d eat at Olive garden for lunch. I loved this soup and especially the bread sticks. I’m going to make this and your copy cat bread sticks in the coming weeks. Thanks for the inspiration…

    1. Oh, this Pasta e Fagioli is perfect for cold, wet fall nights! And it’s a fairly easy recipe that makes a big pot. I was just telling Laura that I’m craving another batch of this one. And pairing this with the copycat bread sticks? Now that would be an A+ idea!!

    1. Homemade is almost always better than the stuff you get when you go out – and this Pasta e Fagioli is no exception. It’s amazing! (And I love how easy it is to make a big pot of this one, too.) Thanks, Marissa!

  5. 5 stars
    David,
    I love how you have agreed that olive garden transformed this to an awesome standard. Sometimes some changes to the old classics turn the whole recipe to another take or break level! Having said that Yes! To endless soup nights and more tomatoes and crunchy leaves and candles. Your pasta sounds a treat,guess what I have the similar looking Dutch oven David, copycat, Kidding here! I can’t wait till I try this recipe of yours as my girls are all pasta fans. Thanks

    1. The addition of Italian sausage in this one is definitely a game changer. There is SO much flavor in this soup – it’s totally one of our favorites for when the weather starts to get chilly. I hope you get a chance to make this one. Thanks, Hasin!

  6. well this looks very comforting david. perhaps a bit too much for our Spring weather. we have been sleeping naked the last few nights (too much info?) tho it’s going to be cooler tonight. looking tasty my friend.

    1. Hahaha…sleeping naked!? Oh, Sherry, you just made me almost spit out my morning coffee. Too funny. But, yes, this is indeed the opposite type of food from what you’re probably craving down there. You’re heading into grilling season! Maybe just file this one away for about 6 months? 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Oh now you’re talking David. I mean what’s not to love about a huge pot of sausage, pasta and beans? We seem to have crashed into winter early here and now I’m craving a good helping of this with some nice hunks of Italian rustic bead. Yum!

    1. Oh, a good rustic bread would be the perfect thing to serve alongside this Pasta e Fagioli. This pot of soup is so easy to make, and it’s packed with a TON of flavor. It’s perfect for cold nights…and we have plenty of those coming just around the corner. I say make a pot of this and pour yourself a nice whiskey while it simmers on the stove! 🙂

    1. We’ve had a brief spell of warmer weather here in upstate NY, but the temps are dropping fast this week. We’re most definitely heading into soup season, and this pasta e fagioli is a great one for keeping warm! Thanks, Michelle!

  8. 5 stars
    “When the stars make you drool just like Pasta Fazool, that’s Amore!” 😃♥️👍 Yessss this looks AMAZING David! Dean Martin’s favorite dish right here, and one of mine too! Your recipe looks and sounds absolutely mouthwatering! Love the addition of sausage and tomato sauce. What a perfect dish for fall and winter, can’t wait to make this!

    1. Haha! You crack me up, Shannon. That’s awesome. 🙂 You probably aren’t getting the colder temps in your area quite yet, but keep this one in mind when you need some comfort food on chilly evenings! It has been a favorite around here lately. Thanks so much!

  9. Ohh the memories, my grandma used to make pasta fagioli soup when I was a kid! Now I really want to make it this fall myself. Even though it’s still pretty warm out, I’m starting to crave soup like crazy! Last week I made broccoli cheddar soup 🙂

    1. We had a little cold snap about 2 weeks ago – I’m guessing you got the same one – and it was a great chance to get into soup season. (At the same time, though, I wasn’t excited about the early cold snap. I want my fall weather!) We’re craving soup here, too, and this pasta fagioli made for several tasty meals. And that broccoli cheddar sounds fantastic, too. Now you’ve got me craving that!!

    1. Yes! So many readers have commented how their parents used to make this soup. It’s a comforting recipe that really is perfect for chilly days – so like 6 months away for you, right? Haha! Thanks, Alex!

    1. Oooo…I think we just need to switch recipes then. I love pancetta, and I could see that adding a ton of flavor here. Actually, you know what? We should combine recipes and use pancetta AND Italian sausage!

  10. We don’t have cool weather here in our part of Florida but that wouldn’t stop me from enjoying a bowl of your pasta e fagioli. I call pasta e fagioli a pantry dinner as I always have beans and pasta in the kitchen. And adding sausage to the dish, my Italian husband would love the idea. 😊

    1. Oh man, it’s getting downright chilly up here. You lived up in the northeast for a long time, so you know how it gets chilly by October. Possibly save this idea for when it does get colder down there? And, yes, I highly recommend the addition of Italian sausage here. It’s quite tasty!

  11. OLIVE GARDEN USES HAMBURGER. ITALIAN SAUSAGE MAKES THIS SOUP TASTE SOOOOOO MUCH BETTER. That’s how I make it as well.

    1. Hey there, BLT! You know, I just made a batch of this last weekend when we were visiting my parents-in-law. They commented that Olive Garden uses ground beef in theirs, too. Good point! While I do enjoy ground beef in lots of recipes, Italian sausage is SO good in this recipe. I appreciate the comment! Stay warm!

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